Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is launching a line of clothing and home furnishings for J.C. Penney called American Living, marking the first time the company has created a brand for another retailer. But don’t you fret — Ralph Lauren isn’t, like, seriously giving himself to the down-market masses just like that. The brand’s new emblem won’t include his classic Polo ponies but rather American flags and bald eagles. You know, symbolism for the common folk! But corporate-identity consultants think the brand will confuse customers since it carries no typical Lauren logos. Confusion or not, we thought Ralph had a healthy roster of brands already, like Chaps, Lauren Home, Polo, RLX, Ralph Lauren Collection… Is another really necessary? Then we remembered Polo recently reported an 11 percent profit jump. Mo’ money, mo’ brands.
The new line will also be about 15 percent more expensive than Penney’s current private-label merchandise, but Penney’s people think it will fill a void in the company’s “assortment.” So, for those Fifth Avenue shoppers looking to cut costs, there’s a Long Island J.C. Penney with spanking-new merchandise waiting for you.