JCPenney sizes up new apparel line

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) is launching a new plus-size private label in an effort to capture share of this growing business segment.

The Boutique+ brand has been in the works since last year and will include two collections designed by Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton. The 24-year-old Tipton was the first Project Runway winner to design for the plus-size customer with an eye to the youth market.

JCPenney is looking to capture the millennial market with Boutique+, with items priced between $12.99 and $39.99, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The plus-size market overall is estimated at $20 billion annually. The number of teens buying plus-size apparel has nearly doubled since 2012, to roughly 34 percent of that population, according to the NPD Group.

Target launched Ava & Viv, its plus-size line with a youthful twist, in 2015, and is currently running a summer swim campaign celebrating women in all shapes and sizes in conjunction with the redesigned, curvy Barbie.

The Boutique+ label will be available online and in approximately 500 JCPenney stores beginning May 1. About 200 store locations will get branded "The Boutique" departments.

JCPenney has long carried plus sizes, but the expansion into teen apparel within that category is a nod to the growing buying power of this group and a continuation of the retailer's efforts to woo younger shoppers.

For more:
- see this Dallas Morning News article

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