'Dowdy' JCPenney Tries to Take Manhattan
Penney's Brings Size 16 Back to NYC
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2009 1:21 PM CDT
In this July 31, 2009 photo, customers pay for their purchases at the check out counter of the new JC Penney store in the Manhattan Mall during the grand opening in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – 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."