November 16, 2010, 1:38 PM

J.C. Penney builds a new e-commerce site for bigger men

The retailer plans to launch the site in April.

Lead Photo

The web business development continues at J.C. Penney & Co.

As a new initiative that is part of its recently launched growth brands division J.C. Penney in April will launch an e-commerce site for big and tall men’s clothing.

The e-commerce site will coincide with the launch of a new retail brand—The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co.—that also includes developing 300 stand-alone stores. “With big and tall customers making up over 50% of the male population and spending nearly $6 billion on apparel, footwear and accessories, we saw an opportunity to serve the fashionable and professional big and tall customer who is often frustrated by the lack of sizes and fits, availability of brands and the overall lack of customer service in their category,” says CEO Myron Ullman.

The new web site and stores will carry national big and tall men’s brands and private-label merchandise. J.C. Penney plans to open 10 6,000-square-foot specialty stores by May and build a network of 150 stores within five years. Eventually, J.C. Penney, (No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, plans to open up to 300 stores. “The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. is positioned to address all of the needs of the big and tall customer—one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the marketplace today,” Ullman says.

The brand will sell sportswear, tailored clothing, athletic, basics, footwear and accessories, the retailer says. J.C. Penney named Steve Lossing as the unit’s new president. Lossing, who has been with J.C. Penney in various management roles since 2002, will report to group president, of the growth brands division and digital initiatives Anne Sutherland Fuchs.

J.C. Penney is the latest retailer to target growth in the big and tall men’s apparel category. Last month Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. launched a new web site——that offers suits, dress shirts, sport coats, pants, ties, sportswear, outerwear, shoes and accessories, and tuxedos.

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