A new range of Forever 21 fashions has debuted at 100 JCPenney stores across the U.S. and online. The move marks the latest bid by the perennially challenged department store chain to turn around, by bolstering its appeal with teens and young adults.
“Forever 21 and JCPenney share a mission to make the latest trends accessible to all while inspiring unique style and confidence,” said Michelle Wlazlo, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at JCPenney in a statement.
The brands also share owners. Simon Property Group bought Forever 21 out of bankruptcy in partnership with fellow mall operator Brookfield Asset Management and brand management firm Authentic Brands Group in February 2020. Later that year, the trio teamed up again, with Simon and Brookfield bidding for bankrupt JCPenney in December 2020, and ABG joining the takeover shortly thereafter. Brookfield sold its stake in Forever 21 earlier this year, but maintains its co-ownership of JCPenney.
The arrival of Forever 21 on JCPenney shelves is likely to be just the first brand crossover. JCPenney CEO Stanley Shashoua hinted earlier this year that other ABG brands, including Juicy Couture, are likely to be added to the JCP assortment in the near future.
“Forever 21’s relationship with the Generation Z customer is a perfect alignment for JCPenney, which is also committed to bringing innovation, excitement and fashion to a young consumer that understands the quickly evolving trends in fashion,” said Jarrod Weber, Group President and Chief Brand Officer, Lifestyle at ABG in a statement. “We are particularly pleased to bring both companies together for the launch of this creative brand and marketing opportunity.”
JCPenney isn’t Forever 21’s first foray into department stores. In a similar bid to attract younger shoppers, YM Inc., the Canadian licensee of the Forever 21 brand, partnered with Hudson’s Bay in June 2021 to bring Forever 21’s full-line collections to select locations in Canada.