National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Modern Bride makes grand entrance at J.C. Penney


Plano, Texas—The Modern Bride line has come to J.C. Penney stores’ fine jewelry departments nationwide, complete with its own branded boutique area, packaging and iPad-equipped sales professionals.

In October, J.C. Penney Company Inc. announced a unique partnership with magazine publishing giant CondÉ Nast that allowed the company to license the Modern Bride name for a new line of bridal jewelry. On Thursday, the company said the line is now available in stores as well as on and

The Modern Bride area will be set in the back of J.C. Penney’s fine jewelry department and will include signage, distinctive fixtures, in-case lighting, displays and packaging brandishing the magazine’s name. Staffing the area will be associates trained as “Modern Bride Professionals,” who will undergo specialized training in addition to the prerequisite Diamond Professional program on how to help brides and couples find the engagement ring and wedding bands that suit them.

In conjunction with the launch, J.C. Penney will being rolling out Apple iPads to 50 of its fine jewelry departments. Salespeople will be able to use the tools to show customers additional style, cut, size and metal options.

The Modern Bride-branded line will include four distinct, trademarked collections. “I Said Yes!,” (below) is priced between $300 and $1,650 and features Platinaire, a silver-platinum combination made from recycled metals as well as a small, trademark sapphire on the inside of each ring.

“True Love Celebrate Romance,” priced between $1,000 and $4,200, has Hearts & Arrows-cut diamonds set in 14-karat gold. “Cherished Hearts,” features multi-top center and engraved shank details designed with the vintage trend in mind. Set in 14-karat white gold, the pieces are priced between $350 and $2,500.

The final collection, “Love Lives Forever,” (below) includes three-stone rings of varying designs that are available in Platinaire, gold or silver.

Pam Mortensen, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of fine jewelry at J.C. Penney, said the retailer is transforming its bridal business with the launch of Modern Bride, providing a shopping experience that guides today’s couples through the bridal purchase.

According to a recent CondÉ Nast jewelry study, more than 65 percent of brides give direct input on their engagement ring, while 23 percent actually select the ring themselves. In addition, studies show that brands brides-to-be interact with during the engagement period are brands they retain loyalty toward, even years after the wedding. “By reaching these customers now--and with such an important, emotional purchase--we are making them customers for life,” Mortensen said.

CondÉ Nast Senior Vice President of Consumer Business Development Julie Michalowski added that J.C. Penney has created “what every consumer desires: impeccable service and expertise in a setting that’s fun, sophisticated and highly personal.”

J.C. Penney operates more than 1,100 department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. CondÉ Nast is a division of Advance Publications and operates in 25 countries. In the United States, the company publishes 18 consumer magazines including titles such as Vogue and Glamour in addition to Modern Bride, two trade publications and 27 Web sites.