JCPenney is officially debuting Belle + Sky, the retailer’s newest private brand designed for shoppers seeking attainable fashion with a sharper edge. Created with the millennial woman in mind, Belle + Sky was piloted in select stores and on last fall and will be available in 500 stores beginning Feb. 12. Additionally, the retailer will begin introducing a modern new center core layout in over one-third of their stores this spring.  This new layout will transform the areas of fashion jewelry, accessories, footwear and handbags into a vibrant shopping environment that complements Sephora inside JCPenney and the Fine Jewelry Store.  These strategic initiatives reinforce their focus on giving customers more reasons to shop JCPenney.

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“Belle + Sky is going to resonate with a diverse group of women in their 20s and 30s who are style conscious, digitally connected and are quick to emulate their outfits based on what they’re seeing on various social media channels,” said Siiri Dougherty, senior vice president of women’s apparel at JCPenney. “Millennials spend approximately $600 billion a year*, and therefore we know that she’s willing to invest in brands that reflect who she is and how she lives. With its trendy designs, lifestyle versatility and great value, we believe Belle + Sky will capture her attention and win her loyalty.”


JCPenney plans to engage this digitally connected shopper by using an omnichannel approach to marketing Belle + Sky. The Company will leverage popular social media channels and offer the new generation of millennial women meaningful wardrobe solutions that reflect her personality and busy lifestyle. This includes partnering with popular bloggers and fashion influencers to help showcase the style and versatility of the Belle + Sky brand.


Created by a team of JCPenney designers, Belle + Sky is the Company’s first contemporary private brand infused with new designs throughout the season, giving shoppers faster access to runway-inspired looks.

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For spring, Belle + Sky is influenced by retro Bohemian styles and feminine silhouettes. In stores and on, shoppers will find a collection of textured tops and dresses infused with floral and paisley prints, body-con dresses and vintage-inspired denim. Edgier pieces in the collection include moto jackets, fringe t-shirts, ruched and graphic patterned pencil skirts. A complete outfit ranges from $40 to $100. Sizes are available in XS-XL and 2-16 in stores, while offers extended sizing up to XXL and size 18, as well as 0x-3x and 16w-24w in plus sizes. Belle + Sky also features a signature handbag twelve times a year, and a complementary shoe line is scheduled to launch in select stores this fall that will echo the style and sophistication of the brand.

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Creating a Bold Presence in Stores
Last year, an inspiring center core environment was piloted in select stores to promote greater cross shopping between fashion and fine jewelry, shoes, handbags and beauty. Given the pilot’s success, the Company is bringing this new presentation to select stores starting in April. From sunglasses and scarves to watches and earrings, an easy-to-shop accessories area will be organized by brand, color and style aesthetic. Display walls will be updated with contemporary graphics and accent lighting that will enable every accessory piece to pop with color and shine. Merchandise from exclusive and private brands such as Liz Claiborne, Mixit, Worthington and a.n.a will be prominently displayed on sleek, modern fixtures surrounding a life-size black lacquer mannequin that serves as a focal point for exhibiting the season’s most stylish trend statements.

“As we continue to expand our center core concept to more stores, customers will discover compelling displays that bring accessories to life in a meaningful and dynamic way,” said Jodie Johnson, senior vice president of footwear and handbags at JCPenney. Each piece in our collection of brands has been thoughtfully curated and displayed to ensure that she can discover various ways to update her wardrobe and take her style to the next level.”

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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.