J. C. Penney launches new Growth Brands Division
J. C. Penney Company Inc announced that it has created a Growth Brands Division, which will pursue high potential opportunities in the retail sector. These initiatives will be separate from the Company's core JCPenney brand and will leverage its exceptional merchandising, marketing, product development, sourcing, IT, planning and allocation, and consumer research capabilities to create new retail businesses and drive sales growth. The Company's pursuit of these initiatives, which will include both digital and retail store opportunities, reflects its Long Range Plan objective of growth leadership in its industry.
The first two initiatives under the new division -- CLAD and Gifting Grace -- will be launched in summer of 2011 and are both strategic collaborations with Hearst Magazines. Anne Sutherland Fuchs, a highly experienced brand and digital executive, has joined the Company as Group President, Digital Ventures of the Growth Brands Division, reporting to J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Chairman & CEO, Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III. The new initiatives include:
CLAD: A complete online modern menswear resource aimed at fashionable men ages 25 to 54, CLAD will provide a full assortment of well-curated designer brands in a savvy digital environment. It is headed by Will Swillie, who has joined Growth Brands having previously been Director of Brand Management at Retail Convergence, a portfolio of e-commerce companies including Rue La La, where he launched the men's business, after spending more than 15 years at top retailers.
Gifting Grace: Targeting women ages 30 to 54, giftinggrace.com will be a comprehensive online gifting resource offering an extensive assortment of unique and memorable gift items, compelling content and convenient tools for the year-round gift-giver. Effective Dec. 6, Mary Drolet, a retail industry veteran and founder of Club Libby Lu, will join the Growth Brands Division to lead Gifting Grace.
Mr. Swillie and Ms. Drolet will both report to Ms. Fuchs.
Mr. Ullman said, "Our objective through this new division is to capitalize on our extraordinary retail expertise to strategically pursue untapped opportunities to serve key customer segments. Our aim is to generate new revenue streams consistent with our Long Range Plan mission of being the growth leader in the retail industry.
"Our ability to attract a highly accomplished team of experienced, visionary retailers to lead our new growth businesses speaks to the potential we all see ahead to create the next generation of retail industry leaders. We look forward to aggressively pursuing these and other opportunities and providing consumers with innovative, new shopping experiences that reflect the exceptional operational resources that our Company can bring to bear."
Anne Sutherland Fuchs, Group President, Growth Brands Division, Digital Ventures, is a highly experienced executive and consultant to companieson branding and digital initiatives. She also serves as a director of Gartner Inc., the information technology, research and advisory company, as well as of Pitney Bowes, Inc., which provides software and hardware for physical and digital communications channels. Before her consulting career, she had been an executive at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where she ran its Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg auction business.