Aldo to open 600 shops in JCPenney stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Footwear maker Aldo USA Inc plans to open store-in-stores at 600 J.C. Penney Co Inc JCP.N locations by next year to promote its "Call It Spring" line of shoes in the latest exclusive deal by a U.S. department store chain seeking to differentiate itself from rivals.

The companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the first Call It Spring shop would open at Penney’s Manhattan store in the fall, expand to another 100 stores by next spring, and then to another 500 Penney locations in the fall of 2011.

The Call It Spring line, which will be exclusive to Penney, is aimed at consumers aged 15 to 30 years of age and will include women’s and men’s footwear and women’s handbags priced between $29.99 to $69.99.

Two week ago, privately held Aldo, which is based in Montreal, said it would produce an exclusive line of shoes for Kohl's Corp KSS.N.

Department store chains such as Kohl's, Penney and Macy's Inc M.N have redoubled efforts to sell more products shoppers cannot find elsewhere to take advantage of the high profits those lines offer and set themselves apart.

Penney, which is based in Plano, Texas, operates about 1,100 stores in the United States.

Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick