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JCPenney Does Away With Joe Fresh

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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The Joe Fresh shops at JCPenney will come down this year as the two companies part ways. Joe Fresh president Mario Grauso told WWD: "By mutual agreement, Joe Fresh and J.C. Penney have determined not to renew our existing distribution agreement that expires on Jan. 30, 2016." He said, "This decision is driven by changes to our respective growth strategies. We have valued our relationship with J.C. Penney and J.C. Penney customers over the past two years."

Joe Fresh is going to instead focus on its standalone stores and e-commerce, strengthening its core Canadian business, and expanding internationally. Stores in Mexico and Latin America will begin to roll out this summer.

The JCPenney and Joe Fresh collaboration was the brainchild of JCPenney’s former CEO Ron Johnson and former Joe Fresh creative director Joe Mimran, both who have since left their companies. Joe Fresh took prime real estate at JCPenney when it launched with much fanfare, with a plan to sell Joe Fresh product at 683 locations and on JCP's website. That was pared down to 200 locations and the Joe Fresh kids' collection was subsequently cut.

And now Joe Fresh is on its way out entirely at JCPenney. "Joe Fresh wasn’t what the customer at JCPenney wanted," a retail analyst told WWD. "It’s the right decision to pull it out. They can make more room for something else."