JCPenney Launching New Plus-Size Line In New “Boutique” Sections In Stores, Online

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

While JCPenney has been selling plus-size garments for years, the retail chain is ready to make a big move into the fashion category: it’s launching a private label plus-size brand for women called Boutique+.

The department store is partnering with Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton to create two capsule collections for the new brand that’s aimed at millennial shoppers, JCPenney says in a news release.

Boutique+ will hit 500 stores as well as online on May 1, and will be released in conjunction with a new store-within-a-store concept and online section called Boutique. The physical Boutique sections will take up between 980 and 2,000 square feet in more than 200 brick-and-mortar stores, and will host a range of plus sizes in a variety of brands including the new Boutique+ line and its in-house Liz Claiborne label.


“There are millions of incredibly stylish full-figured women who are seeking comfortable, well-fit clothes that offer style and versatility,” said Siiri Dougherty, senior vice president of women’s apparel at JCPenney. “JCPenney is committed to winning her loyalty by designing an entirely new modern brand made just for her and creating a dedicated shopping environment that respects her time and budget with a greater selection of affordable plus-size fashion that takes into account diverse body types.”

The move fits with JCPenney’s emphasis on its private labels like Liz Claiborne, in an effort to turn around sinking sales, MarketWatch points out.

“We are ramping up our penetration of private brands, which carries a higher margin,” Chief Executive Marvin Ellison said in a recent earnings call. “And, frankly, we think we can get a higher margin on our private brands themselves.”

Those in-house brands give the company a “tremendous advantage” against e-commerce competitors, he added.

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