J.C. Penney is breaking out another exclusive brand to try to give its fashion business a lift.
With fashion critical to Penney’s turnaround efforts, the retailer is launching Artesia, a private boho-style brand for women. It will be introduced in a big way, with nearly 400 of the retailer’s 860 stores and the company web site carrying the collection at the outset.
Artesia is being designed and manufactured by One World Apparel, a key supplier.
“We strategically chose to bring Artesia into our women’s assortment to fill a void on our floor,” said Jodie Johnson, senior vice president and head of merchandising. “The carefree, eclectic aesthetic of the boho trend appeals to many women and the fit is flattering on countless different shapes and sizes. With the introduction of Artesia, our customer can embrace the bohemian trend without spending a fortune, reinforcing our commitment to bring her elevated, on-trend looks at an incredible value.”
Items will be on sale for less than $30. The collection includes crochet cardigans and dusters, peasant blouses and tiered flounce tops with details such as flutter sleeves, lace, tassels and fringe. Earthy tones and paisley prints are emphasized.
Penney’s further described the line as “an effortlessly chic collection of relaxed silhouettes, flowy fabrics and peasant-style tops and dresses that bring a modern twist to the vintage, bohemian trend.”
The Artesia collection will be situated next to Penney’s longstanding a.n.a. private brand. Artesia is designed to pair with a.n.a.’s denim selection.
In recent seasons, Penney’s has launched several new brands including Michael Strahan and Shaquille O’Neal in men’s wear and, earlier this year, recast its billion-dollar Arizona private brand with changes in the styling, marketing, in-store displays and the product development cycle. Twin sisters and teen influencers Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight were tapped as Arizona “brand ambassadors” to reach teens and Gen Z customers.
In addition, Penney’s has been pumping up national brands, particularly Levi’s, Nike and Adidas, as well as Arizona’s special sizes including husky boy and girls plus-sizes. Penney’s is striving to bring newness more frequently to the women’s apparel floor, and pump up dresses, contemporary, casual sportswear and special sizes. In the fall of 2017, Penney’s rolled out Libby Edelman lifestyle shops with dresses, jeans, jewelry, handbags and shoes, but the concept was eventually discontinued.
The $12.5 billion Penney’s chain continues to suffer losses and has a long way to go in its recovery. Last May, Marvin Ellison resigned as chairman and chief executive officer to join Lowe’s. The search for a new ceo continues.