Rings from the Modern Bride line.

BUILDING THOSE BRANDS: Within the past week, Modern Bride bridal jewelry shops have popped up inside more than 1,000 J.C. Penney stores, recasting the category with a fresher, younger image and extending the retailer’s strategy of partnering with publishers in nontraditional ways.

Modern Bride magazine was shut down in fall 2009, but Penney’s licensed the name from Condé Nast believing it still conveys brand authority. Penney’s executives also said the Modern Bride name could be seen in other wedding-related businesses, but didn’t specify. The assortment includes engagement rings and wedding bands for 24- to 30-year-olds.

This story first appeared in the February 4, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Modern Bride shops are operating in 1,068 of Penney’s 1,107 locations. Each are a few hundred square feet in size, depending on the location.

Beginning next summer, Penney’s will launch Gifting Grace and Clad Web sites in partnership with Hearst Magazines. Hearst’s Good Housekeeping and Redbook staff will work with Penney’s buyers to create giftinggrace.com, which will offer gifts and appeal to women 30 to 54. Clad, a collaboration between Penney’s and Esquire magazine, will offer designer brands for men 25 to 54.

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