PLANO, Texas, Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced the arrival of its exclusive Modern Bride concept in its bridal fine jewelry departments in stores and on jcp.com and modernbride.com. A unique collaboration with Conde Nast, the Modern Bride concept is devoted to providing trusted quality, timeless style and outstanding customer service through a special shopping experience catering to today's bridal customer.
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Pam Mortensen, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of fine jewelry at JCPenney said, "We are transforming our bridal business with Modern Bride, adapting to the needs of today's couples by providing a shopping experience that guides them through the important bridal fine jewelry purchase. By reaching these customers now - and with such an important, emotional purchase - we are making them customers for life. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Conde Nast as we grow our bridal business, making JCPenney an even more comprehensive and distinct destination for today's bridal customer."
Julie Michalowski, senior vice president of consumer business development at Conde Nast said, "JCPenney has created what every consumer desires – impeccable service and expertise in a setting that's fun, sophisticated and highly personal. It's exciting to see Modern Bride, a brand that resonates, invokes trust and assures style, at the core of this transformation."
Today's Bridal Customer:
When it comes to today's couples, they often shop for bridal jewelry together – and even include friends and family in their ring decision. According to a recent Conde Nast jewelry study, over 65 percent of brides give direct input on their engagement ring and 23 percent personally select the ring. While today's couples may be budget-conscious, they still want a ring that is unique and beautiful and want to feel informed and empowered about their purchase. Bridal jewelry is often a 25-34 year old couple's most highly considered purchase to-date. Additionally, studies show that the brands brides interact with during the engagement period are key – in fact, three years after their wedding brides still remain loyal to these brands.
The Modern Bride Shopping Experience:
Set in the back of the fine jewelry department to provide an intimate customer experience, the Modern Bride in-store experience features Modern Bride signage, distinctive fixtures, in-case lighting, displays and packaging, and is staffed with associates trained as Modern Bride Professionals, ensuring customers have a meaningful and memorable shopping experience. Online, customers will find a special Modern Bride section within the fine jewelry department on jcp.com and modernbride.com, which includes a feature that allows users to add rings to a virtual notebook, where they can compare ring features side by side. Customers can even print out their notebook page and bring it to a store for additional consultation. In conjunction with the launch of Modern Bride, JCPenney will begin rolling out iPads to 50 of its fine jewelry departments. Using iPad, Modern Bride Professionals are able to showcase JCPenney's full offering of bridal fine jewelry available on jcp.com, highlighting additional style, cut, size and metal options.
The Modern Bride Professional:
Modern Bride Professionals undergo specialized, comprehensive training to help brides and couples find the perfect engagement ring and wedding bands. These associates are trained under the prerequisite Diamond Professional program, which covers the fundamentals of diamonds and using diamond selling tools, as well as the Modern Bride Professional program, which focuses on skill practices and activities along with insights into bridal industry and bridal customer trends. Modern Bride Professionals bring a fun and practical ambiance to the bridal jewelry shopping experience, whether showing couples how to get the most ring for their budget, giving them insights into different ring styles that best reflect their personalities, or de-mystifying technical jewelry terms with relatable definitions and demonstrations that highlight the unique features of each ring.
Bridal Jewelry Collections Under Modern Bride:
Under the Modern Bride brand, customers will find an elevated and expanded assortment of stylish, high-quality bridal jewelry from wedding bands to engagement rings, including four new special bridal jewelry collections -- "I Said Yes!™," "True Love Celebrate Romance™," "Cherished Heart™," and "Love Lives Forever™."
- I Said Yes! – The 25-piece exclusive bridal collection features a unique silver and platinum combination – called Platinaire™-- made from 100 percent recycled metals. It is 30 percent harder than plain silver and has a bright white, tarnish-free finish, giving the appearance of platinum at a much more affordable price. Items range from $299.99-$1649.99 and feature a unique marking: a sapphire, which symbolizes truth, sincerity and faithfulness, placed on the inside of each ring.
- True Love Celebrate Romance – The eight-piece exclusive bridal collection features a special cut diamond that displays Hearts & Arrows pattern when viewed through a special scope – this is known as the "Cupid Effect." Set in 14 karat gold, each ring has a unique setting with a heart-shaped design on the side of the band and features a center diamond of 1/5 of a carat or larger. Items range from $999.99 to $4199.99.
- Cherished Hearts – The 10-piece exclusive bridal collection features multi-top centers and engraved shank details building on the popular vintage trend. Set in 14K white gold, items range from $349.99 - $2499.99.
- Love Lives Forever – The exclusive collection features three-stone rings representing the past, present and future. Pieces vary in design – with styles ranging from simplistic charm to extravagant beauty – and are available in Platinaire, gold or silver.
Through a relationship with Conde Nast (publishers of 18 consumer magazines including Vogue, Glamour and Brides), JCPenney has licensed the Modern Bride name. Today, Modern Bride is a highly regarded and recognized brand and the magazine was a must-read for young, stylish brides. Conde Nast has granted JCPenney exclusive licensing rights for the Modern Bride name in all merchandise categories including fine jewelry, apparel and home, with fine jewelry being the first category to launch.
JCPenney, one of America's leading retailers, operates over 1,100 department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com. Serving more than half of America's families each year, JCPenney offers a wide array of private, exclusive and national brands which reflect the Company's vision to be America's shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the $17.6 billion retailer is transforming its organization to support its Long Range Plan strategies to build a sustainable, profitable enterprise that serves its customers, engages its associates and rewards its shareholders. For more information visit www.jcpenney.net.
About Conde Nast
Conde Nast, a division of Advance Publications, operates in 25 countries. In the United States, Conde Nast publishes eighteen consumer magazines, two trade publications and twenty-seven websites that garner international acclaim and unparalleled consumer engagement.