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Penney unveils Madden line

NEW YORK — Penney execs took the wraps off the new Chris Madden home furnishings collection last night during a press event at The Four Seasons restaurant here. The total home collection — "Turning Home into Haven" — has the potential of adding 20 percent to the already huge JCPenney Home Collection, which does $1.5 billion in business.

"We see this as incremental business for our home brand," explained Charles Chinni, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of home, fine jewelry and family footwear for the Plano, Texas-based retailer.

The 1,700-sku collection will be launched nationally in May, paced by an extensive public appearance schedule by Madden with a media tour, as well as in-store and television appearances. Merchandise categories include bedding, bath, window treatments, furniture and décor accessories, including rugs, lamps, accent pieces and decorative boxes.

"Our home business has been dominant for many years," said Vanessa Castagna, president, JCPenney stores, catalog and Internet. "We've been especially dominant in bed, bath and window, but the Chris Madden collection offers us a new dimension — design credibility." This is a key part of the company's new customer acquisition goal, she added. "It gives us a modern, updated approach."

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