JCPenney Closes Foundry Stores, Plans Big & Tall Relaunch

by Harry Sheff

TheFoundry-logoJCPenney has closed its 10 Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. stores in the Dallas, Texas area (six doors) and the Kansas City, Missouri area (four doors). The retailer said the move was an effort to shift all big & tall business to the JCPenney stores and relaunch the Foundry as in-store big & tall departments.

“We have closely monitored the performance of our Foundry business from its inception, learning how best to serve the big & tall shopper,” JCPenney spokesman Joey Thomas said. “Our analysis determined that we can streamline operations by closing standalone stores and expanding our big & tall merchandise assortment in the convenience of our existing JCPenney locations. In fact, we are in the process of updating and relocating nearly 980 big & tall departments in our stores, positioning them in prominent locations on the sales floor. The refurbished departments have been renamed The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co., and draw design inspiration from our standalone stores. They are merchandised with updated graphics, fixtures, accent lighting and mannequins, without the need for actual construction.”

When the concept was launched in 2011, we reported that JCPenney planned to open 100 new Foundry stores by 2013. By mid-2012, JCPenney was laying off 600 employees and the future of the division that launched the Foundry was in doubt. Years later, the Foundry never grew beyond 10 doors.

Thomas added that the affected Foundry employees were either transferred to JCPenney stores or given separation benefits; all were offered an on-site career training class.