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JCPenney Is Bringing ‘Styleisure’ to Men

The apparel overhaul at JCPenney has reached the men’s category. The department store revealed that it is expanding its Stylus private brand to include men’s apparel and accessories, complementing the women’s apparel assortment that it launched last fall.

JCPenney made the collection available at 551 of its 672 stores and online on June 3.

The company’s “styleisure” brand is aimed at extending beyond the athleisure or activewear categories with versatile pieces “promoting equal parts style and comfort” that are designed to be worn at any point throughout the day.

The men’s Stylus collection includes T-shirts, polos, jogger pants, chinos, hoodies, bomber jackets and shoes that can be mixed and matched for what the company calls “an effortless, put together look.”

Like the women’s line, which had a size assortment that ranges from XS to 3X, the men’s Stylus collection also will be size-inclusive. Fits range from S to 5XLT.

“Ultra-soft” fabrics in the collection include pima cotton yarn, wrinkle-resistant and anti-pilling technology, and stretch wovens. JCPenney is promoting the brand’s clean design lines, quality construction, modern color palette and even “perfectly placed pockets” as characteristics that enable customers to look and feel their best on the go.

“As our customers begin to establish new routines for work and life, the all-day versatility of the Stylus collection delivers on comfort without sacrificing style,” said Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at the retailer. “Quality fabrics, thoughtful design and modern fits make for effortless dressing from dawn to dusk.”

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JCPenney has been on a bit of a tear when it comes to introducing new private labels and revamping existing ones.

The most recent change occurred at the end of May, with the debut of its women’s Ryegrass collection in 400 stores and online. The assortment of blouses, dresses, skirts, denim, shorts, vests and jackets is geared to capitalize on the pent-up demand for “going out” attire as Covid-19 vaccinations across the U.S. continue to increase.

Ryegrass and Stylus were two of five private labels to join JCPenney’s women’s apparel portfolio in a six-month span. The store also launched three swim brands in the spring—Mynah, Decree and Sonnet Shores—all designed not for specific ages or body sizes, but instead for customers’ individual styles. JCPenney’s also has recently refreshed its A.N.A. casual denim brand and the Liz Claiborne collection.

But the men’s department hasn’t seen much change thus far. The only major moves to date have come through the Xersion activewear brand, which covers the entire family and is not exclusive to men.

Men’s apparel and accessories is the company’s second-largest segment, accounting for 22 percent of JCPenney’s total sales in 2019. Women’s accounted for 35 percent of total sales.

The changes haven’t been limited to the department store’s men’s and women’s departments. Most notable is the company’s pivot toward home textiles. In April,  JCPenney introduced Loom + Forge, a collection that includes homeware for the indoors and outdoors, at the kitchen table, on the couch or in the bedroom. The assortment includes items such as 100 percent cotton bedding, Turkish cotton bath pieces, marble serving trays and plush faux mink throws, all of which feature Oeko-Tex-certified materials.

Additionally, the company added the acquired Fieldcrest home bedding private label to its offering in March, and expanded its Linden Street label into dinnerware, serveware and table linens.

Later in 2021, JCPenney will add the Juicy Couture and Forever 21 labels into its fashion assortment, both of which are operated by one of the retailer’s co-owners, Authentic Brands Group (ABG).