Menomonee Falls, WI—While the timing of Jennifer Lopez’ and Marc Anthony’s divorce announcement couldn’t be more inopportune, Kohl’s still plans to launch their namesake collections in September.
Kohl’s had called the launch of its exclusive Lopez and Anthony merchandise the largest in its history and the first time a celebrity couple had launched collections with the same retailer. Yet despite their well publicized split, the show will go on, store executives said Monday.
The Show Will Go On
“The Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands have always been positioned as two separate, distinctive collections that offer high-quality contemporary style for men and women, and we look forward to a successful September launch,” said Vicki Shamion, senior vice president of public relations for Kohl’s.
The Jennifer Lopez collection will include sportswear, dresses, handbags, jewelry, footwear and sleepwear. The Marc Anthony brand will launch in dress shirts, sportswear, neckwear, accessories, suit separates, sport coats and footwear.
Both collections were predicted to be the crown in Kohl’s exclusive brands line up that already includes Simply Vera Vera Wang, Candie’s, Daisy Fuentes, Tony Hawk, LC Lauren Conrad and Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne.
Lopez and Anthony announced jointly last Friday that they would divorce. They were married in 2004 and have 3-year-old twins.
“These kinds of situations create consumer disappointment and disengagement with the celebrity,” Robert Passikoff, founder of Brands Keys, a brand consulting firm, told Dow Jones. “Right now, Kohl’s “has to go through with it. They have made an investment in the merchandise and the licensing fees.”
Erika Maschmeyer, analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co., said she expects both of the new lines to be successful for Kohl’s, despite the divorce news.
“To be honest, the exciting part of this launch was really Jennifer Lopez. The marketing around it really centers on her,” Maschmeyer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “She’s still clearly on board.”
Since the couple’s contract supposedly provides Kohl’s with the right to cancel either line if it proves unsuccessful, that stipulation might actually work in Kohl’s favor now. “With the divorce, it will be easier for Kohl’s to drop one or the other if that becomes necessary,” Maschmeyer said.
Last week, as part of the collections’ launch, Kohl’s announced its “Best Friends Getaway” an online contents that will award 15 winners a change to “live it up with their best friend in New York City. Contestants were asked to submit videos showing why they love Lopez and/or Anthony on Facebook by July 30.
Ironically, Kohl’s positioned the contest directly “to celebrate the ultimate friendship between Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. While it’s apparent that Jennifer and Marc have a lot of love for each other, Kohl’s is launching an online contest to find out who has the most love for Jennifer and Marc.”
Fortunately for Kohl’s and other businesses Lopez and Anthony together on , the couple said the divorce would be amicable, which may avoid the airing any dirty laundry in public.
“The best thing Kohl’s can do is sit very quietly and hope there is no more bad news about Marc or Jennifer,” Passikoff said.
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