Penney struts Madden's stuff

Gary Evans, Carole Sloan, May 10, 2004

With all the fanfare typically given to a major fashion apparel launch, JCPenney kicked off the Chris Madden "Turning Home into Haven" home furnishings collection with a showroom in the Concourse of Rockefeller Center here.

The 2,500-square-foot showroom — with furnishings as well as kiosks that allow customers to shop and order online for home delivery — "brings the product to life and it's also a good example of the three-channel structure of JCPenney," said Vanessa Castagna, chairman and CEO of JCPenney stores, catalog and Internet.

All product lines — bed and bath, rugs, decorative pillows, window coverings, lamps and furniture — will be showcased here until May 24.

The collection launched with a private sale last week at which the Shades of Sage bed ensemble in the Serene lifestyle, the towels and the Somerset white furniture were early hits, said Charlie Chinni, executive vice president, home, fine jewelry and family shoes. The public launch was May 9.

"We'll start to see some numbers that mean something within the month," he added. "Obviously, a project this extensive will have some successes and some things that are not as successful. And we're going to continue to build on it going forward. The new product for next year already is being worked on."

The Chris Madden collection, as well as the soon-to-be launched Colin Cowie table top and table linens collection, "will help us get the JCPenney Home Collection to $2 billion within a few years," Chinni added.

Penney is supporting the Chris Madden launch with extensive marketing, beginning with the event here, magazine inserts, and circular with Madden featured on the cover and inside. In addition, Madden's 16th book coincided with the launch of the home furnishings line.

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