Studio teams with JCPenney on girls clothing line

Warner Bros. is turning to Supergirl to battle Disney for a piece of the girls market the Mouse House dominates with its Princess franchise.

The studio has teamed with JCPenney to launch Supergirl as a lifestyle brand aimed at 8- to 12-year-old girls with clothing that prominently features the S-shield.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products enlisted five-time gymnastics Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin to lend her name to the new line as its spokesperson and push a message of empowerment.

Products, made up of T-shirts, dresses, dancewear and other apparel, will be priced from $20 and $38 and hit store shelves July 20, timed for the back-to-school season.

The Supergirl by Nastia line is the first of several new products WBCP is expected to introduce around the high-flying heroine after focusing heavily on the 6- to 8-year-old boys market using DC characters like Batman and Superman.

The girls market is just too lucrative to pass up.

Disney Princess has turned into a $4 billion-a-year juggernaut for the Mouse House since it bowed in 2000, selling apparel, toys, books, movies, games and other merchandise featuring nine characters like Snow White, Cinderella, “The Little Mermaid’s” Ariel, “Beauty and the Beast’s” Belle and now Tiana from “Princess and the Frog.”

Warners saw an opportunity with Supergirl because “the Supergirl S-shield is embraced the world over as a symbol of girl power,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The studio has spent the past four years supporting female athletes with the Supergirl Jam, an all-girls action sports competition and music festival, and this month, launched the inaugural Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, to honor the accomplishments of young, rising female gymnasts.

JCPenney will promote the line with circular advertising, direct mail and integrated social media, as well as in-store promotions and appearances by Liukin across the country later this year.

For the retailer, the new line “provides another compelling reason for customers to shop with JCPenney,” said Clark McNaught, senior VP and general merchandise manager of JCPenney’s children’s division.

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