View Count: 412 |  Publish Date: April 05, 2014
J.C. Penney teams with famed supermodel Elle Macpherson

New York --
J.C. Penney is hoping that some supermodel magic will win over shoppers in the lingerie department.
The beleaguered department store chain is introducing an exclusive lingerie collection in the U.S. with a partnership with Elle Macpherson, who along with Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and others defined a new generation of supermodels in the 1980s.
The collection will be in 300 of Penneys 1,100 stores starting April 11. Penney says it will wait to see how the brand fares before deciding whether to roll it out to its other stores.
The collection, called The Body by Elle Macpherson, which refers to her nickname, offers bras and panties in mostly cotton. Its emphasis is on the smoothest, most precise fit that can be worn every day.
The collection builds on Macphersons lingerie business that she founded in 1990 with a collection of lacy and silk lingerie thats sold at upscale stores including Bloomingdales and Harrods.
The Body Bras top out at around $50, while bras in the Elle Macpherson Intimates Collection can go as high as $150. The bras have four distinct silhouettes designed for different body shapes: the push up, a sporty demi-cut version, an unlined alternative, and a subtle lift.
I created this for myself, because I thought there was a gap, Macpherson said. I really wanted to address this idea of shape.
Macpherson, who is creative director for a series of fashion business ventures, said Penney offers the opportunity to design for a wider audience.
The collection comes as Penney is trying to recover from a botched transformation spearheaded by its former CEO Ron Johnson, who was fired in April 2013 after 17 months on the job. That month, Mike Ullman, Johnsons predecessor, returned to the helm and has restored frequent sales events and basic merchandise to help reverse plunging sales and huge losses.
A key focus: revitalizing its lingerie business. The partnership with Macpherson was forged under Johnsons leadership. But under the former Apple executive, Penney got rid of bra specialists and its store brand Ambrielle, a conservative line of lingerie. In February, Penney brought back the specialists and Ambrielle.
Also, more than 600 Penney stores will see their lingerie areas refreshed with new graphics and special fixtures.
Penney executives said Victorias Secret benefited the most from Penneys woes when it came to lingerie sales.
By offering the best brands, a greater level of service and an inspiring environment, J.C. Penney is making the necessary improvements to reclaim its market share, said Ivy Spargo, a senior vice president for Penney.
Spargo said Penney shoppers will be able to relate to Macpherson outside of being a celebrity.
Shes a working mom. Shes a business owner, Spargo said.


Picture Keywords
 bra   business   collection   Elle Macpherson   lingerie   MacPherson   Penney   store   stores 
Time: 2:50  |  News Code: 394803  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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