JCPenney launching new line

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JCPenney launching new line
JCPenney launching new line

JCPenney's launch next week of the Polo Ralph Lauren-inspired American Liv­ing brand is set to receive the biggest marketing push in the company's history.

The launch includes dedicated catalogs and a microsite in addi­tion to the usual complement of national TV and print ads.

“American Living gives cus­tomers a way to have something truly aspirational at a smart price,” said Kate Parkhouse, PR manager, brand at JCPenney.

“Bringing brands like Ameri­can Living into JCPenney's merchandise assortment is a key part of the company's strategy and provides a new reason for customers to discover all that JCPenney has to offer,” she con­tinued. “Something on the scale of American Living really has the opportunity to elevate the overall JCPenney brand.”

At a time that many retailers are reporting declining sales and cutbacks in the face of a faltering economy, JCPenney is hoping American Living can help build some excitement around shopping at the multi­channel merchant.

Last month, JCPenney said that it would cut jobs, close a call center and combine merchandis­ing and marketing functions for its retail and direct businesses, moves that the retailer said it had planned before the current economic slowdown.

The retailer's latest financial results showed a fourth-quarter decline in same-store sales of 3.6%, while total sales fell 4%. Financial analysts had predicted a greater loss margin. Total sales for the four-week period fell 17% to $1.16 billion from $1.39 bil­lion during the same period last year. Same-store sales fell 1.1% and total sales were nearly flat at $19.86 billion, from $19.9 billion last year.

American Living was developed with Polo Ralph Lauren's Global Brand Con­cepts division for the largest segment of JCPenney's customer base, the clas­sic traditional lifestyle customer. As the main focus of JCPenney's spring mar­keting campaign, American Living will be featured in ads during the Academy Awards on February 24.

Hispanic customers are the first wave of consumers to be targeted with the new brand. They will see a preview begin­ning February 21 in ads appearing on Univision. Print ads in top consumer magazines will follow in March.

Photographer and filmmaker Bruce Webber directed the TV ads, which include a 60-second anthem spot featur­ing the tagline “JCPenney is American Living for family and home.”

This spot will run on major networks as well as during previews for PG and PG-13 movies in US cinemas. There are also 30-second spots that will feature men's, women's and home merchandise from the collection.

Radio buys feature former Led Zep­pelin singer Robert Plant and country-bluegrass star Alison Krauss with the song “Killing the Blues” from their new album, Raising Sand.

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