Penney Tries To Get Back On Target

Jul 23, 2004

By George Anderson

Talk about missing the target.

J.C. Penney’s target consumer for the retailer’s Original Arizona Jean Co. private label clothing line is 17 to 24 year olds. The majority of people actually buying the apparel were between the ages of 45 and 48.

Penney decided it needed to address this disconnect so it redesigned the line and now its rolling out a new advertising campaign to try and capture back-to-school sales.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, “Penney revamped its Arizona supply chain to get edgier, vintage-inspired fashions such as crocheted ponchos, dark-wash jeans and easy-to-layer shirts to its stores faster.”

The retailer is launching an interactive Web site,, to elicit feedback and stay better connected to its target market.

Jeff Bergus, design director for Arizona said, “We found out that on the juniors side, every six to eight weeks a new trend emerges. If you’re a half a year behind, teens will leave you in the dust.”

Vanessa Castagna, chairman and chief executive of Penney’s stores, catalog and Internet businesses said the revamped Arizona Jean line and the new marketing program to support it, “gives us the credibility that we’re right there with the other specialty retailers at half the price or less.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on J.C. Penney’s attempt to remake its brand image for the Original Arizona Jean Co. line? Has the company
been successful in remaking its own image with consumers?

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Arizona Jean “makeover” is just another piece in Allen Questrom’s puzzle to totally overhaul JCP’s image. The
paper points out, “The strategy seems to be working. Same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, rose 4.8% in June and are up 8.4% for the first 22 weeks of the

George Anderson – Moderator

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