JCPenney Fills In The Blanks
Carole Sloan -- Furniture Today, June 13, 2005
Plano, Texas — JCPenney is filling a void in three bedding categories that many retailers have abandoned — bedspreads, coverlets and daybed covers.
“Some 15 to 17 percent of our assortment is in these categories,” reported Donna Gering, vice president and director of soft home for JCPenney Direct. “We feature them in all media. Most retailers have walked away from bedspreads.”
Through its analysis of customer preferences and related purchases, the company has identified the bedspread customer “as the 50 and older crowd,” she said. “But customers also are using bedspreads to cover the thick pillowtop mattresses as a comforter would for a queen size.” As mattresses have become deeper with pillowtops, comforters do not always fit the deeper measurements, she explained
As for coverlets, Gering related, “It's a top-of-the-bed layering accessory. But customers also are using them as coverlets for futons.”
Coverlets also are being used for platform beds, she added.
With Penney's fashion emphasis, these categories are often shown on their own or offered as an “either/or” choice — a bedspread or comforter, Gering said. On the cover of its most recent specialty catalog, for example, Penney featured a matelasse coverlet. Within the catalog are bedspreads and daybed covers in a single pattern, and comforter and bedspread sets in the same pattern.
An important issue in merchandising bedding beyond comforters, she noted, “is having the dimensions clearly identified for all constructions.” With the variety of sizes in mattresses now on the market, it is critical to let customers know specific lengths and widths, not just the industry basic sizes of twin, full/queen and king, Gering emphasized.
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