JCPenney’s new partnership with affordable Canadian brand Joe Fresh has been hailed as a potential lifeline for the struggling retailer. But others aren’t so sure.
The new Joe Fresh line will put JCPenney’s new boutique idea for “branded sales space” to the test, featuring a line of bright, colorful clothing, and for a steal. Everything in the collection is under $70.
The designs will be featured in about 700 JCPenney retail stores across the country, and the two companies have a four-year deal.
The line is bound to attract bargain-savvy consumers. But one analyst quoted in Businessweek said the Joe Fresh partnership will be the true test of whether JCPenney can work its way out of the hole its dug itself into.
“If Joe Fresh doesn’t work, this could be the worst Ides of March since Brutus greeted Caesaron the floor of the Senate,” Maxim analyst Rick Snyder told Bloomberg Businessweek. “[Joe Fresh] is kind of a microcosm of what they’re trying to do, and if it doesn’t work, I think it’s going to get really ugly.”
Joe Fresh was launched by designer Joe Mimran in 2006.
Mimran grew up in Toronto and had been enthralled by fashion since he was a kid.
He first joined the fashion business in 1976. His brother owned a factory that aimed to recreate their mother’s dress designs for a mass audience. They called it “Ms. Originals.”
Mimran founded Joe Fresh as a more affordable brand that would be sold in Canadian supermarkets.