The move is intended to draw more teens and young adults to the retailer and bolster its cred as a “generational shopping destination.”
Michelle Wlazlo, Penney’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said: “Forever 21 and J.C. Penney share a mission to make the latest trends accessible to all while inspiring unique style and confidence. The addition of this brand to our portfolio rounds out our Young Minded assortment and brings an exciting new element of in-the-moment fashion.”
Forever 21’s assortment at J.C. Penney will include tops, bottoms and dresses that are “rooted in West Coast style and composed of new, neutral must-haves and trending design aesthetics like lush velvet and chic floral.”
The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign featuring in-store, e-commerce, social media and direct mail promotions.
The connection is one forged out of a couple bankruptcies and a new world that’s ready for all sorts of new combinations (see Kanye West at Gap, Gap Home at Walmart, and more).
Forever 21 went into bankruptcy in 2019 and was scooped up by Authentic Brands Group, while J.C. Penney succumbed to creditors during the worst of the pandemic last year and was bought by landlords Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
ABG and Simon have a long history of working together and are forging new connections.
Jarrod Weber, group president of lifestyle and chief brand officer at ABG, said: “Forever 21’s relationship with the Generation Z customer is a perfect alignment for J.C. Penney, who is also committed to bringing innovation, excitement and fashion to a young consumer that understands the quickly evolving trends in fashion.
“We are particularly pleased to bring both companies together for the launch of this creative brand and marketing opportunity,” Weber said.
ABG, which is in the process of buying Reebok, has plenty of other opportunities to chase.
The brand house has quickly become a giant with a portfolio that stretches from Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley to Eddie Bauer and Aéropostale to Vince Camuto and Nine West to Brooks Brothers and Barneys New York.
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