NEW YORK — Jou Jou, a $48 million junior sportswear company here, is sharpening its denim business, with a particular focus on novelty pieces. The company will launch its first national denim ad campaign in September.
“The average teenager owns seven pairs of jeans and is looking for something new,” said Bob Acampora, executive vice president of sales. “We are hearing from our customers that they want to put items together with denim pieces.”
The denim pieces are treated with a process called “riverblasting,” exclusive to Jou Jou, which combines both double stonewashing and sandblasting. The groups, all blue washed, include denim with khaki twill trim, denim with cotton Black Watch plaid accents, frayed denim and a western group with silver-tone belt buckles and pearlized buttons.
The styles include cropped vests and jackets, a zipper-front dress, shorts, overalls, shortalls and jeans, which will be shipped with a belt. All the pieces will be double-tagged to include junior and misses’ sizes.
“Everything in sportswear relates back to jeans,” said Acampora. “We expect the stores to bring in the items as a package built around the five-pocket jean.”
Wholesale prices average $22.50 for vests, $29.50 for jackets, $19.50 for jeans and $24.50 for overalls.
“We really want to make a strong impression, so distribution will be limited to stores that sell better denim,” said Acampora. Retailers that will carry the denim line include Dayton’s, Parisian, Macy’s East, Hudson’s, Marshall Field’s and Merry-Go-Round.
The ad campaign will debut in the September issues of, among others, Mademoiselle and Seventeen. According to Clement Soffer, Jou Jou’s president, the company plans to spend about $1 million on advertising this year, half on the ad campaign and half on a catalog the company issues four times a year.
All the advertising and marketing is done in-house. Last fall the company spent $500,000 on its catalog, but didn’t advertise at all.
Other marketing plans include a four-page color mailer sent to Parisian, Vanity and Belk stores for point-of-purchase or target customer distribution, giveaways and seminars. Jou Jou will continue to hang a mini version of its current catalog on all styles.

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