What’s Forever 21 doing inside J.C. Penney?


By Maria Halkias - The Dallas Morning News



An assortment of Forever 21 women’s trend pieces and core fashion are flowing into 100 Penney stores and available online at jcp.com.

An assortment of Forever 21 women’s trend pieces and core fashion are flowing into 100 Penney stores and available online at jcp.com.


Sports Illustrated is another brand that’s coming next month to Penney stores.

J.C. Penney’s latest new national brand is Forever 21, and the forces behind this cross-pollination of retailers appear to be just getting started.

An assortment of Forever 21 women’s trend pieces and core fashion are flowing into 100 Penney stores and available online at jcp.com, the retailer said earlier this month. The stores selected are in a mix of markets, both with and without Forever 21 stores.

Forever 21′s latest fashions will boost Penney’s position as a national retailer for teens and young adults, said Michelle Wlazlo, Penney’s chief merchandising officer. The collection will include tops, bottoms and dresses in neutrals and in trending velvet and florals. Penney is planning a big marketing campaign for the launch.

Forever 21′s relationship with the Gen Z customer “is a perfect alignment for Penney,” which is committed to bringing “excitement and fashion” to younger shoppers, said Jarrod Weber, chief brand officer at Authentic Brands.

Why is Weber commenting on this strategic relationship between Penney and Forever 21? It takes a family tree to explain:

Behind these retail brands coming together — along with a new line of Sports Illustrated-branded performance athletic wear launched last week — are Simon Property Group and its strategic partner, Authentic Brands Group.

Forever 21 is one of several brands owned by Authentic Brands, which is in a 50-50 partnership with Simon called Sparc Group. Sparc can also license Aeropostale, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Lucky Brand and Nautica, and it recently became the core licensee and operating partner for Reebok in the U.S.

J.C. Penney is owned by the two largest U.S. mall operators, Simon and Brookfield.

Authentic Brands owns a 16.67% noncontrolling minority ownership interest in Copper Retail JV LLC, which is the parent entity of the Penney operating company, according to preliminary filings for Authentic Brands’ canceled initial public offering.

Separately, Authentic Brands owns more than 30 brands, including Barneys New York, Hickey Freeman, Izod, Judith Leiber, Thomasville, Vince Camuto and Van Heusen.

Authentic Brands also owns media brands such as Sports Illustrated.

Penney said that in early January, it will be the first retailer to sell the Sports Illustrated collection of performance apparel for men, women and children.

Sports Illustrated is making the leap from a venerable 67-year-old magazine title to a lifestyle clothing brand.

The collection has bolder colors than traditional workout clothes and includes updates on traditional pieces such as sleeveless crop tops and leggings for women and crew neck short sleeve sweatshirts and joggers for men. The Sports Illustrated line also includes sneakers, sandals and socks.

Penney is a huge tenant for Simon and Brookfield, but these relationships are another reason the mall operators were interested in buying Penney out of bankruptcy last year. And Simon CEO David Simon said in a conference call in May with Wall Street analysts that it made sense to him for Penney to start selling other brands Simon owns through its partnerships.

Simon said last month during the mall operator’s third-quarter earnings call that Penney’s business had stabilized and its financial results had improved.

“J.C. Penney’s is performing terrifically well,” Simon said.

The longtime Plano, Texas-based retailer is now operating its corporate office from a former Penney store in Lewisville, Texas, and as of last month has a new CEO.

Marc Rosen came to Penney from Levi Strauss & Co. but also spent 14 years at Walmart. So far, Rosen has declined interview requests.

An assortment of Forever 21 women’s trend pieces and core fashion are flowing into 100 Penney stores and available online at jcp.com.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_TS-FOREVER21-JCPENNEY-DMT.jpgAn assortment of Forever 21 women’s trend pieces and core fashion are flowing into 100 Penney stores and available online at jcp.com.

By Maria Halkias

The Dallas Morning News

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