Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Business
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Penney takes a different tack in dog-fur flap
10:34 PM CST on Saturday, January 13, 2007
J.C. Penney Co. removed some fur-trimmed coats from its racks around Christmas after animal-rights
activists objected that the fur came from wild dogs in China.
Last week, the department-store company put the coats back on the racks — but only after directing
employees to use marker pens to blot out the line on the label that identified the trim as raccoon fur.
The fur-collared leather coats were sold under the house brands St. John’s Bay and a.n.a., and by this week
they were marked down at a Penney’s in Dallas from the original $349.99 to $74.99. About two dozen
“We sold a lot of them during Christmas,” said a saleswoman at a Penney store in North Carolina who
spoke on condition of anonymity because she feared losing her job. “I hope people who bought those coats
aren’t animal lovers. But I guess if they’re wearing fur, they’re not.”
By putting the coats back on the racks, Penney is charting a different course than rival Macy’s, which last
month pulled Sean John jackets after they turned out to contain the same fur. Macy’s said it has a policy
against selling products with dog fur.
Animal-rights groups are using the incident to pressure Penney to drop sales of all real fur, including fox. A
few clothiers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew have stopped using fur, and designers Kenneth Cole
and Calvin Klein have promised to follow suit
But Penney, with more than 1,000 stores catering to middle-income shoppers, says it has no plans to alter its
“We do sell a few fur-trim items. We will continue to do so,” said Darcie Brossart, a spokeswoman for the
Penney also downplays any link between Lassie and the animal whose fur is used on some of its garments.
That animal is often called a raccoon dog becau