- J.C. Penney on Monday announced that it is adding Forever 21 to its assortment of apparel brands, according to a company press release.
- Shoppers will be able to find Forever 21 products at 100 J.C. Penney stores and on the department store's website.
- Apparel items that will be available include tops, bottoms and dresses, and the collection "is rooted in West Coast style," according to the companies.
J.C. Penney is building out its assortment — and hoping to attract a Gen Z audience — through a new agreement with fast-fashion retailer Forever 21.
"Forever 21 and JCPenney share a mission to make the latest trends accessible to all while inspiring unique style and confidence," Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer at J.C. Penney, said in a statement. "The addition of this brand to our portfolio rounds out our Young Minded assortment and brings an exciting new element of in-the-moment fashion."
The companies have bankruptcy, and a parent company, in common.
Family-owned Forever 21 filed for Chapter 11 in September 2019 with plans to exit most of its international stores in Europe and Asia and to close around 178 locations in the U.S. Brand development company Authentic Brands Group and mall developers Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners then purchased the fast-fashion retailer in February 2020. (This year, Brookfield decided to sell off its interest in the company.)
Meanwhile, J.C. Penney was on its own bankruptcy and recovery trajectory. The department store filed for Chapter 11 in 2020 with a plan to reduce its debt load and close over 240 stores. By December of that year the retailer closed a deal with Simon Property and Brookfield to buy the company's operations and exit Chapter 11. Authentic Brands Group, a partner with Simon Property in the Sparc Group (the two have collectively acquired brands including Eddie Bauer, Forever 21 and Lucky Brand), would be bringing "a lot" of its brands into J.C. Penney, Simon CEO David Simon said earlier this year.
Now the companies are coming together to offer trendy Forever 21 fashions and build out J.C. Penney's audience and reputation as a multi-generational shopping destination.
"Forever 21's relationship with the Generation Z customer is a perfect alignment for JCPenney, who is also committed to bringing innovation, excitement and fashion to a young consumer that understands the quickly evolving trends in fashion," Jarrod Weber, group president of lifestyle and chief brand officer at Authentic Brands Group, said in a statement.
The partnership with Forever 21 marks the second apparel deal J.C. Penney has made with an ABG brand this month. The department store announced a clothing collection with Sports Illustrated, which is also owned by the brand conglomerate, in early December. That collection, dubbed "Sports Illustrated for JCPenney," features apparel for men, women and children, and will be in J.C. Penney stores and on its website starting on Jan. 6.