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07/15/2021

JCP debuts its most inclusive kids store brand ever

The owned brand Thereabouts factors in kids with disabilities and more, marking its ninth private brand launch this year as it battles back from bankruptcy.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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JCPenney is back to launching another store brand apparel line, just in time for the back-to-school season, introducing Thereabouts, an inclusive private brand for children. It’s the seventh private brand apparel launch this year.

The retailer is leaning into own brands as it’s making a transformational business comeback.

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In June it launched Stylus for Men, in late May it launched Ryegrass, a luxurious women’s collection, joining recent launches such as a swimwear collection — Mynah, Decree and Sonnet Shores — the Xersion athletic line and the Stylus athleisure line. Additionally, there have been two new home goods brands with Loom + Forge and Linden Street.

Following the company bankruptcy and restructuring, JCPenney is putting a focus on the customer through its store brand offerings. The Thereabouts line is an example of this as the assortment strives for inclusivity, factoring in inclusive sizes of apparel, gender-neutral pieces, and items that are sensitive to kids with sensory needs. For example, clothes are tagless, use sensory-friendly seaming to add softness, and hook and loop closures replace buttons and zippers.

The assortment includes essential clothing, school uniforms, sleepwear and outerwear. The designs aim to be on-trend, too, including sneaker dresses, head-to-toe color, denim and “prairie cool” styles.

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“We believe all kids should feel confident and capable in the clothes they wear, and parents should feel good about the clothes they buy,” said Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Fulfilling the wants and needs of our diverse customer base is the foundation of our business. That’s why we relied on research and feedback from parents and kids throughout the design process. We are proud to say that the Thereabouts collection is our most inclusive kids brand ever.”

Additionally, JCPenney has partnered with Patti + Ricky, an adaptive fashion marketplace for adults and kids with disabilities, to expand its children’s adaptive offerings via notable accessory brands PunkinFutz, BeedleBug, Max & Me, and Myself Belts. The retailer is also partnering with Communities In Schools, donating $1 for every Thereabouts item sold in stores or online f rom July 15 to Aug. 12, JCPenney will donate up to $100,000 to Communities In Schools to the organization, helping to fund programming that empowers students to stay in school.

JCPenney, Lewisville, Texas, operates more than 650 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico and runs jcp.com.