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Dorm Life puts JCP at BTS forefront


While spring and fall are the key to standard domestics fashions, back-to-school has come to set the pace for home styles targeted for children and young adults, a trend that is underlined by the rollout of JCPenney’s Dorm Life program.

Launched this summer, Dorm Life features a coordinated collection of trend-right, quality items developed to furnish college dorm rooms or off-campus apartments with fresh, updated and contemporary looks, the retailer stated. Designed and sourced in-house, the collection includes an assortment of bedding and bath items, along with lighting, area rugs and decorative accessories. Also offered in Dorm Life are furniture, including desks, shelving, chairs and ottomans.

Functionality is built into the collection, which features reversible comforters, ottomans featuring hidden storage, mirrored clocks and desk lamps with built-in MP3 docking stations. Dorm Life is positioned in JCPenney’s “good” pricing category, with bath towels priced as low as $3.99 and comforters as low as $39.99.

In store it is evident that Dorm Life is styled to appeal to both genders, with a relatively dark pallet in domestics featuring black, steel blue and purple among the key colors in the line, which also features pinks to provide a more feminine element to the transitional look.

In introducing the new program, Jeff Allison, evp of home for JCPenney, said Dorm Life, with coordinated looks and convenient functionality, should resonate strongly with the young adult customer segment, “enabling them to easily create a space that fits their unique style preference, and giving them yet another reason to shop JCPenney this back-to-school season.”

Sales results and studies demonstrate that young people have taken more interest in decorating their rooms, even as children. The trend has been even more pronounced in teens and young adults, who today are bombarded with fashion almost from infancy.

The evolving trend has had an impact at JCPenney. “Our No. 1 season is the holiday season, followed by the back-to-school season,” said spokeswoman Kate Parkhouse. “However, the back-to-school season is the time of the year when we make a big marketing and merchandise push to the younger customer.”

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