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JCPenney Teams with Crawford

JCPenney executives came to a three-story Chelsea brownstone here last week to unveil the new Cindy Crawford Style collection that will roll out to stores this fall.

The line will be the most far-reaching lifestyle presentation in the home department, according the Jeff Allison, the retailer's evp of home. It includes bedding, window coverings, bath, decorative accessories, area rugs, lighting, table top, wall décor and furniture.

Springs Global, which is producing the home textiles portion of the line, brought the license to JCP's attention about 18 months ago, he said. JCPenney's in-house team designed the products with input from the supermodel. "She has a great eye for the product and what goes together," said Allison.

Promotional prices for the collection will begin at $169.99 for a queen comforter set, $49.99 for 400-count sheets and $29.99 for a blanket/throw; $129 for furniture; $119.99 for wall décor; $69.99 for lighting; $69.99 for area rugs; $59 for accent furniture; $29.99 for window coverings and $23.99 for window hardware and accessories; $24.99 for decorative accessories; $23.99 for decorative pillows; $24.99 for table top items; and $9.99 for a bath towel.

The line will debut in July at the opening of JCP's first Manhattan store. Product will begin appearing on Penney's web site in August. It will set in about 900 doors in September.

Cindy Crawford Style is positioned as updated traditional and nearly completes a series of brand introductions into the assortment over roughly the past 24 months. The once-pervasive JCPenney Home Collection has been edited down in favor of focused lifestyle presentations, said Allison. "We have room on the floor for seven or eight brands," he added.

Recently launched Artesia represents global glam. American Living, introduced last year, addresses classic Americana. Linden Street, another 2008 introduction, speaks to a younger, casual customer. Studio fills the contemporary niche, while Chris Madden was edited to focus on opulent traditional.

Overall, the home department "had a great start to the year," he said. Although the business has begun to stabilize, "I think we'll continue to have some ups and downs."

Bedding "has stabilized in a nice way," and furniture sales have been coming back, he added.

He's looking to mall traffic, off-mall traffic and the easing of the credit markets for signs of recovery, he said. However, he cautioned, "No one thinks we're going back to the heady days of 2001 to 2006."

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