J.C. Penney dives into fast fashion with new brand

Best friends shopping.

J.C. Penney has begun testing a fast fashion line called Belle + Sky by selling it online. The private label is Penney’s contemporary and affordable women’s collection featuring clothing priced between $20 and $59.99. Penney plans to sell Belle + Sky at 100 if its store locations starting this September.

Compared to Penney’s previous private labels, the chain plans to move from concept to store much faster with Belle + Sky. According to Fortune Magazine, the process from concept to store for retailers like Penney traditionally takes about nine months, while fast fashion chains like H&M and Zara are able to do the same in just four.

At the moment, about Belle + Sky items are available online, including fringed sweaters, peasant dresses, distressed jeans and T-shirts.

J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said at the Goldman Sachs 22nd Annual Global Retailing Conference that, “We spend a lot of time with suppliers talking about fast fashion retailers, not trying to replicate fast fashion as a strategy but to learn elements of the strategy. And from that we are piloting a private brand called Belle and Sky that is our version of fast fashion. What we learn is that we have to eliminate bureaucracy, we have to position fabrics, we have to position components and we have to streamline the design process and the approval process because we are way too bureaucratic and we are often times our worst enemy, creating a very long supply chain.” CJ