Joe Fresh to be Pulled From J.C. Penney Stores
Joe Fresh, a cheap-chic clothing line owned by Loblaw Cos. Ltd, will no longer be carried in J.C. Penney stores beginning in 2016. The line’s president, Mario Grauso, said that the two companies reached a mutual agreement not to renew their contract which expires in January of next year. Instead, Joe Fresh will focus on investing in its stand-alone stores and e-commerce, and strengthening its business in Canada, which is where it is based. Susan McGibbon, president of consultancy the Retail Lab, said that Joe Fresh was too stylish and edgy for the typical J.C. Penney shopper. Loblaw is also considering exiting five of its six stand-alone stores in New York, except the one in Soho. The retailer is experimenting with markets outside North America. It currently has locations in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and plans to open two outlets in Mexico City next month.
Proenza Schouler’s Potential Investors
Private equity firm Castanea Partners is said to be eyeing a stake in New York luxury brand Proenza Schouler. Multiple investors have been considering partnering with the brand’s design duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, who have seen immense success since launching in 2002, including being named CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year three times. In August of last year, LVMH was in talks to invest in the brand, but negotiations have since tapered off. The French luxury giant has chosen to focus on the fast-growing contemporary businesses Theory, Helmut Lang and J Brand instead. Industry sources estimate Proenza Schouler to be worth around $85 million. The brand is sold in over 250 locations across more than 20 countries, and operates nine stand-alone stores. McCollough and Hernandez are not nervous about being only minority owners in their brand, as long as they are able to retain creative control. “I think most of [our investors] realized that if they let us do what we do, they’re going to have a return,” Hernandez said. “The wrong thing for them to do would be to clip our wings. We haven’t let anyone down yet.”
Ivanka Trump Names New VP
Trish Whalen has been named the vice president of business development of the Ivanka Trump Collection, beginning this Tuesday. Whalen will be responsible for expanding Trump’s line of apparel, shoes and accessories internationally, as well as through partnerships and new licensing opportunities. She will report to Ivanka Trump. Whalen has worked with Maxim and Kate Spade in the past. The Ivanka Trump collection is currently sold in Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s and Zappos.
– Kelcie McCurdy
Photo: The Bellevue Collection