J.C. Penney will debut Joe Fresh shops in 700 of its department stores starting March 15, along with other new fashion brands for spring and summer including Pearl by Georgina Chapman and L`Amour Nanette Lepore.
Fashion brands striving to meet consumers' professed preference for goods made in America are often finding that shoppers can't or won't pay the higher price for US-made pieces, despite surveys showing shoppers seek out the "Made in America" label. Designer Nanette Lepore, a long-time proponent for bringing fashion manufacturing back to New York City's garment district, makes nearly all of her high-end lines for Bloomingdale's and Saks in Manhattan, but her low-priced teen line for J.C. Penney is made abroad.
Retailers from Saks to Macy's to Target are set to start reporting their fourth-quarter results this week, announcements that are likely to offer a snapshot of consumer spending patterns amid rising gas prices and a higher payroll tax.
Retailers lost $8.9 billion to shoplifting, shrinkage and other vendor theft during the holidays, according to one study, and 2011's losses totaled about $35 billion, according to NRF data. While still significant, the losses were down $3.5 billion from 2008. "We're seeing more money spent on loss prevention. That's been notching up every year," said NRF's Richard Mellor.
Smartphones with the Firefox operating system will become available this summer, Mozilla reported at an industry conference. Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE will be the first handset manufacturers to offer Firefox-based smartphones, followed by Huawei Technologies. There are 18 operators around the world ready to support such phones, but handsets with the Firefox OS won't come out in the U.S. until next year.
Retailers and designers are continuing to collaborate on exclusive lines that this year will include a limited-edition Target collection from Prabal Gurung, a junior line from Nanette Lepore for J.C. Penney and a Kohl's DesigNation collection from Derek Lam.