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J.C. Penney Introduces Fast Fashion Line to Compete With H&M, Zara

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As fashion gets faster, even department stores are trying to run the new retail race. J.C. Penney said recently it is testing a new fast fashion line as it works to become “less bureaucratic.”

The retailer is piloting its Belle + Sky private label brand of trendy womenswear in 50 of its stores, and with a shorter production time, Penney’s hopes the line will bring back some of the shoppers department stores lost to fast fashion leaders like H&M, Zara and Forever 21, Fortune reported.

The line includes sleeveless turtleneck dresses to fringe jackets, skinny jeans and vests ranging in price from $14.99 to $59.99.

Retailers who haven’t already shortened their supply chains are scrambling to cut production lead times as consumers increasingly demand the latest in fashion as quickly as possible. Belle + Sky will be Penney’s chance to prove it can adapt its apparel offerings more quickly.

One of the things Penney’s new CEO Marvin Ellison, who took the helm last month, said he’d be working on during his tenure is helping the retailer get out of its own way, Fortune reported. He wants to make the department store more “nimble” and streamline the supply chain.

Penney’s is still working to turn itself around after the hard hit it took during Ron Johnson’s reign, but Ellison said the retailer can’t afford to revert to any versions of its former self if there’s any hope of it thriving again.

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