Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The launch of Joe Fresh shop-in-shops at J.C. Penney is finally happening today, but that probably doesn't mean anything to the majority of Penney's regular customers. Though Joe Fresh has a handful of stores in the New York area, they have no e-commerce or national advertising—so, essentially, no one in America outside of New York knows who they are.
Penney's doesn't sound too worried about that, however. "I don't think initially people will know what Joe Fresh is, but once word gets out, it spreads like wildfire," a rep told Bloomberg. "We're hoping that our current customer base will find something new and exciting, and we're hoping that it'll appeal to a whole different customer base that really hasn't been into a J.C. Penney in a very long time, if ever."
Also, it's how they're going to compete with fast-fashion brands like H&M and Uniqlo. Bloomberg reports that Penney has avoided putting Joe Fresh shops in mall locations where there was already an H&M, and that the department store expects the bright, trendy offerings from Joe Fresh to hold their own against Uniqlo. The style is "more comprehensive" than what Uniqlo offers, said a rep, adding that Penney's is banking on Joe Fresh's "attainable fashion" to appeal to a wide range of customers, from 18 to 50-year-old shoppers.
The Joe Fresh boutiques at JCPenney open in 680+ stores today and will carry women's merchandise ranging from $4 flip-flops to $69 dresses. The e-commerce shop has been up and running for a few weeks now, however, so head there first if you want a preview of the offerings.
· J.C. Penney to Challenge Zara and Uniqlo With Joe Fresh Shops [Bloomberg]
· Can Joe Fresh Save JCPenney? Early Online Sales Offer Clues [Racked]