JCPenney pushing men's, launching millennial sportswear

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) announced that it will expand its private JF J. Ferrar men's label to incorporate sportswear. The move is part of a larger goal to further its growing menswear division by attracting younger males.

According to DVP David Plummer, who oversees men's sportswear and activewear, this launch is already having an impact on the younger men's business.

"We've been re-building our modern sportswear and in the process, we're always evaluating and looking for white space. Our Claiborne product is somewhat refined and our Van Heusen is updated classic; we saw a void in a casual modern look," Plummer told MRketplace.

The new line not only reaches men, but a tougher demographic to capture—millennials. Plummer said the brand is reaching millennials who are shopping at JCPenney for the first time. "We've reconnected with this customer and feel well-positioned for long-term growth," he added.

Currently menswear captures about 25 percent of JCPenney's overall sales, making it the fourth largest retailer of men's apparel in the country, reported Women's Wear Daily.

"The men's business is one of the best-performing areas in the store. It held up during the transition, and we're gaining share and have great traction," John Tighe, general merchandise manager of menswear for JCPenney told Women's Wear Daily.

Capitalizing on the already existing market, the company is launching sportswear under the private brand that debuted in 1998. The JF brand already reaches younger men, with the average age being 34. "It seems like a natural extension to bring in sportswear," Tighe said.

Many retailers are looking to capitalize on the growing men's apparel business. For example, Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) recently announced it would open a men's only store in New York City this fall. Sandro also announced the opening of a men's store in Manhattan. The 881-sq.-ft. pop-up will showcase Sandro Homme merchandise in an art studio setting.

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

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