CNBC announced today, 4/30/2018, that J.C. Penny has teamed up with singer-songwriter Lionel Richie to carry his private-label line. And, we all know for sure his “home” collection will be as tastefully sophisticated as he is.
“What Lionel Richie brings is … his terrific brand equity,” Katheryn Burchett, the senior vice president of merchandising at Penney, told CNBC. “We are differentiating ourselves and … that comes in the form of our private brands as well as our partners exclusive to JC Penney.” The last time the company partnered with a celebrity for its home category was with Eva Longoria in 2015.
Penney hopes a home collection with Richie will lead to another boost of its exclusive business, as retailers are looking for ways to stand out from their peers and lure shoppers into stores in an increasingly competitive environment. Penney’s new line with Richie, which includes a queen comforter retailing for $129.99, a set of towels for $39.99 and pillow cases for $19.99, is already available on JCPenney.com and will roll out to about 200 stores by this fall.
According to Burchett, the line could expand to more U.S. locations depending on shoppers’ reactions to the launch. “We will have to wait and see what happens. We want to appeal to existing customers. That said, we are also trying to attract new customers,” she said.
Burchett said that after surveying Penney’s existing customers, 98 percent of them recognized Richie, more than any other celebrity in consideration for a partnership. Over 70 percent of Penney’s loyal shoppers today are female homeowners, she said, with an average household income of roughly $70,000, according to Kantar Retail.
Richie has been back in the spotlight serving alongside singers Katy Perry and Luke Bryan as a judge on “American Idol.” The renewed buzz around his name makes it an opportune time for Penney to tap him for the new line.
CEO Marvin Ellison and his management team have said Penney will continue to invest heavily in building out a suite of in-house brands. “Our private brands had continued to improve with respect to our margins,” CFO Jeff Davis said on a recent call with analysts and investors.
Other retailers have also been shifting investments to their home businesses of late, including Target, which now has an exclusive line with HGTV stars Chip & Joanna Gaines. Though not backed by a celebrity, Walmart also just rolled out a new private home brand, Allswell.
J.C. Penny has already found success in curating private or exclusive men’s clothing lines backed by Michael Strahan and Shaquille O’Neal, a beauty line by Rihanna and a holiday collection with Tracee Ellis Ross, most recently.
Photo courtesy of CNBC.com
Ref. CNBC, MSN.com