J.C. Penney to open 300 big and tall men’s shops in next five years

Plano, Texas -- J.C. Penney said Monday it will open 300 big and tall men’s apparel shops during the next five years. The stores, which will average 6,000 sq. ft. each,  will be branded as The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co.

An e-commerce site for the new format will go live in April 2011, followed by the opening of 10 stores in May. The company hopes to have 150 stores operating by 2013.

“With big & 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 & 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,” said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and CEO, J.C. Penney. “Offering an upscale environment and extensive assortments of apparel, footwear and furnishings created with them in mind, The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. is positioned to address all of the needs of the big & tall customer -- one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the market place today.”

The new format will feature an urban, industrial design, in a hip, yet unpretentious environment, J.C. Penney said, that features concrete and wood flooring, brick walls, steel and wood fixtures and modern lighting, along with a lounge area.

The retailer named Steve Lossing, a retail executive with over 20 years of menswear experience, including eight years with J.C. Penney, as president of the segment.