JCPenney recently invaded Manhattan, “and the most frequent question on New York’s collective lips seems to be: Why?” writes Cintra Wilson in the Times. “Why would this dowdy Middle American entity waddle into Midtown in its big old shorts and flip-flops without even bothering to update its ancient Helvetica Light logo?” Plus, the store “has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen”—and herein lies the company’s genius.
You're more likely to find a size 16 than you are a size 2 here: Penney's stocks clothing for people of all sizes, a group that "has been almost wholly neglected on our snobby, self-obsessed little island." NYC caters to the teeny-weeny, but "there are many more body types who vote with their hard-earned dollars, who appreciate a clean new space in Midtown to buy affordable clothes in hard-to-find sizes." And that makes Penney's "really, remarkably smart."