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JCPenney Expands Private Label Brands

PLANO, TX— JCPenney’s recent introduction of its Linden Street home furnishings collection is the latest step in the retailer’s continuing effort to expand its private label offerings in its home products assortment. The line, which features lighting, tabletop, furniture, decorative accessories and an array of soft-home products, joins the retailer’s growing list of in-house “Power Brands,” which include the Chris Madden home collection and Cooks housewares assortment. According to company officials, more that 45% of JCPenney’s revenue comes from its assortment of private brands that cover home products as well as apparel. “While JCPenney offers an array of national, exclusive and private brands, the private brands enable us to leverage our deep understanding of our customers and our competency in creating strong brands,” said Jeff Allison, JCPenney executive vp/Home. “This allows us to deliver exciting merchandise that helps to create deeper, more enduring relationships with our customers.” He noted that JCPenney has developed several private brands that each have accounted for several billion dollars in sales and others that have posted sales of hundreds of millions of dollars. “With strong customer acceptance and loyalty, these brands have meaningful brand recognition well beyond our JCPenney stores,” Allison said. As with other JCPenney private label lines, Linden Street items are developed, designed and sourced in-house. Company officials said the products fall into the retailer’s good and better pricing. For example, lighting items are priced from $100 to $380, and tabletop items are priced from $7.99 to $199.99. Linden Street is positioned as a neo-traditional brand with contemporary interpretations of classic design and targets a customer that has a home full of life, said Allison. “Both parents are probably working…and they expect their home stores and brands to figure out solutions that can solve their decorating needs while personalizing their space,” he said. “Durability and functionality is key as the home is the center of activity.” Allison noted when developing products for Linden Street, the retailer worked to offer unique features. For example, select furniture offers hidden storage, electrical outlets and charging strips for iPods, cell phones and PDAs. He added that some lighting items are designed to be adjustable. “These features add functionality to the collection; an aspect that is increasingly sought after by today’s consumers,” Allison said. While Linden Street consists mainly of home furnishings, Allison said tabletop was included because JCPenney wanted to offer its customers a complete home collection. The tabletop assortment includes plates, bowls, platters, mugs glass and table linens. “Never before has an initial brand launch in our home department included such a complete approach to serving customers’ lifestyle preferences,” he noted. Linden Street is available in store, at and in July will be included in JCPenney’s catalog. Allison noted the retailer has a “robust” marketing plan that includes print ads in consumer and home publications, weekly sales circulars and an e-mail campaign.