J.C. Penney boosts fashion cred with exclusive Black Label by Evan-Picone line

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) is continuing its drive to reinvent its failing stores with the latest launch of an exclusive Black Label by Evan-Picone collection.

The new line will only be sold at J.C. Penney as part of a licensing agreement with Jones Apparel Group. There are more than 100 styles in the collection which will include slacks, tie-neck blouses, sheath dresses, fit-and-flair dresses, pencil skirts, two-button jackets. The classic pieces are intended to be wear-to-work items that consumers can mix and match to their tastes. Prices for the dressy sportswear items range from $35 for a top to $120 for a blazer and hit stores March 7. 

The Black Label by Evan-Picone collection is part of J.C. Penney's ongoing mission to bring new brands to the store, reinvent its image and boost sales. J.C. Penney has also said that it will place a growing focus on reviving former private-label brands that resonated strongly with its core customer before being discontinued. Last year, CEO Mike Ullman helped bring back the popular St. John's Bay apparel line as well as JCP Home and Cooks. In the coming months, J.C. Penney also plans to reintroduce its Ambrielle lingerie, a customer favorite that was removed from the store in 2009.

In the most recent quarter, J.C. Penney's turnaround efforts seemed to be working, as the company reported a 10 percent rise in same-store sales for the second month in a row. J.C. Penney followed up with another same-store sales rise in January of 3.1 percent which included the key holiday period. 

J.C. Penney is expected to announce its quarterly earnings, tomorrow, Feb. 26.

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article 

Related stories:
J.C. Penney to close 33 stores, slash 2,000 jobs
J.C. Penney comp-store sales rise 10% in November
J.C. Penney's Q3 loss wider than expected as sales fall
J.C. Penney reports first monthly sales increase since 2011
J.C. Penney's calls it quits with Martha Stewart

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