JCPenney Goes Big and Tall With New Stores

JCPenney signJCPenney is rolling out a chain of menswear stores, catering to the growing plus-size market. Called The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co., the retailer plans to launch an online store in April 2011 and open 10 specialty stores the following month.

"With big and tall customers making up over 50% of the male population and spending nearly $6 billion on apparel, footwear and accessories, we saw an opportunity to serve the fashionable and professional big and tall customer who is often frustrated by the lack of sizes and fits, availability of brands and the overall lack of customer service in their category," said Mike Ullman, JCPenney's chairman and CEO, in a statement. The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. will offer "an upscale environment and extensive assortments of apparel, footwear and furnishings created with them in mind."

Luxury retail sales
have been edging higher as the economy slowly starts to recover, but and the luxury menswear market seems to be a wide open niche. The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. is part of JCPenney's Growth Brands Division tasked with creating and growing new retail concepts. Next summer Growth Brands will also launch Gifting Grace (online gift ware) and CLAD (online modern menswear).

JCPenney's plans for the concept are to aggressively expand nationally to 150 stores by 2013, reaching a total of 300 stores over the next five years. The standalone stores will be up to 6,000 square feet, and feature an urban, industrial design.
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