J.C. Penney Co.’s effort to shake up its look isn’t going entirely smoothly – the retailer is being sued for $40 million by lighting design and branding firm Hudson + Broad Inc. over its new Fair and Square icon.
In a complaint filed with U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Hudson + Broad accused the department store chain of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
At stake, the large, square fixtures made with Plexiglas and LED lights that J.C. Penney is placing around its stores to mirror its new sharp-edged logo. The retailer lost $87 million in its most recent quarter but now has a new chief executive, fresh advertisements, a simpler pricing structure and changing store interiors -- of which the fixtures were a part.
Hudson + Broad, a small New York-based company, said it developed and created the first of the displays under an exclusive agreement, only to have J.C. Penney start farming out production to other manufacturers.