Call It Spring will be available exclusively at JCPenney

Call It Spring will be available exclusively at JCPenney

JC Penney Company has taken another step in differentiating itself from its competitors by joining forces with footwear maker Aldo Group, which will open shop-within-a-shop concepts in 600 of its department stores.

Under the deal announced on Wednesday (30 June), JCPenney will become the exclusive US department store retailer for Aldo's Call It Spring brand.

The concept will launch this autumn in JCPenney's Manhattan store, expand to 100 stores and online in spring 2011, and then to an additional 500 stores in autumn 2011.

"By giving our customers high-quality, specialty store styling we continue to heighten our competitive advantage and create a sense of discovery within our stores," said Myron E (Mike) Ullman III, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney.

He added that the new line, which significantly expands JCPenney's shoe and accessories range, "will further establish JCPenney as a style authority and first choice destination for the modern customer."

Aimed at shoppers aged between 15 and 30 years old, the Call It Spring line sells at prices ranging from $29.99 to $69.99.

JCPenney, which operates 1,108 department stores, is one of a growing number of retailers trying to entice more shoppers into their stores by offering them lines they can't find anywhere else.

The firm is also set to launch the fast fashion concept MNG by Mango this autumn. Other recent additions include Liz Claiborne, which will be exclusive to JCPenney this August, I "Heart" Ronson (by designer Charlotte Ronson), ALLEN B. (by designer Allen Schwartz) and JOE Joseph Abboud.

Privately held Aldo, too, sees opportunities to help retailers ramp up their exclusive and private brand offerings.

The group, which has operations in more than 1,500 stores in over 50 countries selling its fashionable footwear and accessories, earlier this month signed a deal with department store operator Kohl's Corporation to design and produce dress and casual shoe lines.