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JC Penney opened an apparel design center in Manhattan that will focus on reviving its in-house labels like Liz Claiborne, St. John's Bay, and Arizona. That takes their private development spaces from one (in Dallas near the headquarters) to two. According to WWD the New York location contains "designers; technical designers; CAD operators; trend teams; fabric teams; color and print quality control specialists, and a print and fabric archive."
It's a move in direct opposition to former CEO Ron Johnson's plan, which recall, built shop-in-shops, while systematically downsizing the company's private brands. Johnson eliminated the St. John's Bay women's brand, for example. Customers "protested" according to the VP of product development at JCP, and now it's back in full force. Mangone added that the new apparel design center opening doesn't mean new labels are being considered because "the focus is to get the key core heritage brands back to the level they were. That's what I told my teams."
· J.C. Penney Launches Apparel Design Center in New York [WWD]
· Joe Fresh Launches at J.C. Penney Today, But Most Customers Probably Don't Care [Racked]
· Martha Stewart Enlightens Us on the Proper Way To Apologize [Racked]