J.C. Penney on Thursday added another private label to its assortment with the launch of Loom + Forge.
The private home brand features both indoor and outdoor decor, bedding, bath and window coverings, among other things, according to a company press release. The bedding and bath assortment uses OEKO-TEX-certified materials, meaning they are free from over 300 harmful chemicals.
- The launch comes after the department store introduced two other private home brands recently, Fieldcrest and Linden Street.
The home sector emerged as a big winner this past year as many consumers shifted to remote work and school, and spent the majority of their time confined to their personal spaces.
Some retailers that, prior to the pandemic, faced struggles in the form of declining sales and mounting losses, have benefited from the unique circumstances brought on by the pandemic. For J.C. Penney, launching three owned brands in the home category in the past year signals it, too, is trying to capitalize on this moment.
"Following a big year of strategic investment in our home portfolio, we are excited to offer our customers even more choices to create a beautiful and comfortable home," Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief merchant, said in a statement. "As we continue to reaffirm our position as a leader in home, the new Loom + Forge collection brings inviting modern style to every space – from the bath and bedroom to the kitchen, living areas, and outdoors – with current, purposeful designs."
But in recent years, the department store had seemingly been moving away from the home category. Former CEO Marvin Ellison in 2016 moved to return appliances and furniture to J.C. Penney's stores after it discontinued sales of those items back in 1983. For a while, the move paid off, but in late 2018, the retailer's executives said underperforming categories in its third quarter that year included "big ticket areas and home such as appliances." By February 2019, J.C. Penney said it would pull appliances and furniture from its U.S. stores.
Under the guidance of new owners, however, the recent private label launches in categories like home and apparel indicate that the department store is looking to differentiate itself and create value for its customers as it enters its second life.
Other retailers, namely Target, have taken a similar approach when it comes to private label penetration, and to great success. The mass merchant in February announced its All in Motion activewear line generated $1 billion in sales within its first year of launching, and marks the company's 10th billion-dollar brand.