JCPenney and Ralph Lauren end American Living

JCPenney Co and Ralph Lauren Corp have decided to end a five-year agreement to sell the exclusive American Living lifestyle line.

The collection, which is designed by Ralph Lauren and sold exclusively through JCPenney stores, includes clothing, bedding, shoes and luggage. It was described as the biggest brand launch in JCPenney’s history when it debuted in spring 2008.

But speaking on a quarterly conference call with analysts last week, Ralph Lauren president and COO Roger Farah said the decision had been made to “mutually to move away from that business after the spring/summer shipments.”

He added: “We were at the end of a five-year commitment to American Living.

“We have a lot in our plate that is very exciting and challenging, and we want to make sure our efforts and energies are aligned with the opportunities.”

While Ralph Lauren Corp’s business continues to be strong, retailer JCPenney last month outlined plans to transform its struggling business under new CEO Ron Johnson. Initiatives include a new pricing strategy, plans to re-invent the in-store experience, new brand identity, and a number of new brands.

“We’ve left the door open to further dialogue for the relationships, but at this point, we’re going to spend our time and energy building and controlling our brands the best way we know how,” Farah said.

Ralph Lauren Corp last week said it expects full-year revenues to jump by 20% after third quarter sales rose 17% thanks to global growth in retail sales and double-digit wholesale revenue growth in the US and Europe.

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