JCPenney Is Losing Its Shirt

— Literally —

Today JCPenney announced the largest private brand launch in the company’s history, a 2007 release of a private label Lingerie line called Ambrielle.

Capitalizing on what many say is an underserved market, JCPenney will promote Ambrielle in a boutique-like setting in stores nationwide.

Currently, the U.S. lingerie market is dominated by Victoria’s Secret, which holds only 30 percent of the intimate apparel market. Thus retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and now JCPenney are stepping up to the demand.

In the past five years, the intimate apparel business has boomed, with store-front and catalog retailers alike offering their own lingerie lines. Stores with a teen-focus like GAP and American Eagle are capitalizing on the popularity of undergarments too, with the GAP Body line and American Eagle’s Aerie opening later this year.

JCPenney is no stranger to the lingerie world- their current store brand called “Delicates” has been around for almost 10 years, but has been less than successful. However, the department store has developed a reputation for its wildly successful store brands, such as Arizona and St. John’s Bay- both billion-dollar brands.

When the Ambrielle line launches next spring, customers can explore 5,500 square feet boutiques in every JCPenney, and browse through a total of 4,000 intimate apparel items. The Ambrielle line will be broken into three sub-brands that appeal to different generations and styles: Smooth Revolution (modern and smooth), Mystique (sexy and enhancing) and Essentials (understated and natural). Each line is expected to be promoted as sensual and attractive, not risqué.