JCPenney’s New Growth Brands Division to Launch Specialty Men’s Retail Concept Complete With Private Brand

The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co., part of the new Growth Brands Division at J. C. Penney Company, today announced plans to launch a new retail concept catering to the men’s big & tall fashion customer. With plans to open 300 stores – as well as an ecommerce website – over the next five years, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. will carry an assortment of national men’s brands along with The Foundry Supply Co. Private Brand.

“With big & tall customers making up over 50 percent of the male population and spending nearly $6 billion on apparel, footwear and accessories, we saw an opportunity to serve the fashionable and professional big & tall customer who is often frustrated by the lack of sizes and fits, availability of brands and the overall lack of customer service in their category,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer. “Offering an upscale environment and extensive assortments of apparel, footwear and furnishings created with them in mind, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. is positioned to address all of the needs of the big & tall customer — one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the market place today.”

The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. plans to open 10 specialty stores in May 2011, following the April 2011 launch of its ecommerce website and aggressively expand nationwide to 150 stores by 2013, reaching a total of 300 stores over the next five years. The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. will provide a balance of quality, trend right merchandise with a high level of customer service in a specialty store environment; carrying sportswear, tailored clothing, athletic, basics, footwear and accessories in big & tall.

The stand alone, specialty retail stores will be up to 6,000 sq. ft., and be staffed with dedicated associates committed to providing exceptional customer service with their industry-leading knowledge and custom fit solutions. Inspired by the look of a microbrewery, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. stores will feature an urban, industrial design, in a hip, yet unpretentious environment that invites men to shop, relax and enjoy themselves. Inside, customers will find concrete and wood flooring, brick walls, steel and wood fixtures and modern lighting, along with a lounge area.

Steve Lossing, a retail executive with over 20 years of menswear experience, including 8 years with J.C. Penney, has been named President of The Foundry and will be responsible for the overall retail operations. The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. and other initiatives from Growth Brands Division are separate from the Company’s core JCPenney brand and leverage its exceptional merchandising, marketing, product development, sourcing, IT, planning and allocation, and consumer research capabilities to create new retail businesses and drive sales growth. The first two initiatives under the Growth Brands Division are Gifting Grace, a comprehensive online resource for gifts, and CLAD, a complete online modern menswear resource, were announced last week and will launch in summer 2011.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.