The Jones Group Inc. (ticker: JNY, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Multimedia News Release - Jones Apparel Group Pledges Long-term Financial and Corporate Commitment to Four Leading Non-Profit Organizations and Announces Campaign to Support Teachers: Jones New York In The Classroom
NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
(NYSE: JNY) announced today, on National Teacher Day, the launch of its first
corporate-wide cause program and the creation of Jones New York In the
Classroom. This nationwide program aims to improve the quality of education
for children through the recruitment, retention and support of teachers in
America's public schools. Through this program, Jones Apparel Group not only
commits dollars to support America's teachers, but expansive human resources
as well. Jones Apparel Group's employee network, combined with the support of
four leading national non-profit organizations, provides the strength needed
to bring the program to life in communities across the country.
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"This is Jones Apparel Group's investment in the future," said Peter
Boneparth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
"Teachers are essential to the success of our children, and Jones Apparel
Group wants to take a leadership role in providing immediate and tangible help
in the classroom, while encouraging others to join us along the way."
Experts predict that two million more new teachers will be needed over the
next decade, while recent studies show that approximately one-third of the
nation's teachers leave the profession during the first three years and almost
half in the first five years. Research also confirms that not only are
teachers the single most important factor in raising student achievement, but
the ever-growing teacher shortage has challenged America's schools and has had
a negative impact on the quality of education for America's most valuable
resources -- its children.
"We believe that if we appreciate the teacher, we in turn appreciate our
children, which is exactly why Jones Apparel Group was inspired to take up
this cause," added Boneparth. Jones Apparel Group is taking a multi-faceted
approach to supporting teachers at critical points in their careers, with a
focus on four areas: recruitment, retention, professional development and
recognition and support. Jones Apparel Group's long-term financial and
corporate commitment to this cause both implements corporate programs to raise
funds for Jones New York In The Classroom and allows employees paid time off
to donate their time toward the initiative, in cooperation with the following
non-profit organizations: TeachersCount, New Teacher Academy, Fund for
Teachers and Adopt-A-Classroom. Each of these groups addresses one or more of
the Jones New York In The Classroom areas of focus.
Jones Apparel Group commissioned extensive market research with both their
customers and their employees to determine what cause platform they chose.
According to Stacy Lastrina, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Jones
Apparel Group, "When we asked what issues are important, both employees and
consumers lined up behind children and behind education as top priorities."
Importantly, the Jones Apparel Group commitment goes beyond its initial $1
million grant to Jones New York In The Classroom. Specifically, Jones Apparel
Group's corporate employees will be offered the opportunity to volunteer up to
three hours of paid time off each month in local communities in support of
teachers and education, totaling more than 250,000 hours to support the cause.
Additionally, Jones Apparel Group will work with its retail partners to launch
its in-store cause marketing program, including a limited edition t-shirt
featuring artwork from New York City artist Ryan McGinness.
An additional sponsor to Jones New York In The Classroom is The Fruit
Company, an online retailer of fine fruits and gourmet gift specialties based
in Hood River, Oregon. The Fruit Company will donate 20 percent of its sales
from gifts purchased on their Web site (http://www.thefruitcompany.com) with
special promotional codes to Jones New York In the Classroom. Jones Apparel
Group will use The Fruit Company as a preferred gift vendor for corporate
Additional activities of Jones New York In The Classroom include the
formation of a national advisory committee comprised of education
professionals; Back to School, Back to Style teacher and classroom makeovers
through a partnership with Home Depot and designer Michael Moloney; national
advertising promotion supported by O, the Oprah magazine; a dedicated shopping
week during which 10 percent of proceeds (up to $500,000) will benefit the
cause; and additional in-store "school-themed" events. The initiative will be
launched in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.
About Jones New York In The Classroom
Jones New York In The Classroom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to
improving the quality of education in America and inspiring others, both
individuals and corporations, to do the same through support of teachers and
vital teacher-based programs. For more information on Jones New York In The
Classroom and its activities, please visit http://www.jnyintheclassroom.org.
About Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (http://www.jny.com), a Fortune 500 company, is
a leading designer, marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and
accessories. We also market directly to consumers through our chain of
specialty retail and value-based stores, and operate the Barneys chain of
luxury stores. Our nationally recognized brands include Jones New York, Evan-
Picone, Norton McNaughton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Erika, l.e.i., Energie, Nine
West, Easy Spirit, Enzo Angiolini, Bandolino, Joan & David, Mootsies Tootsies,
Sam & Libby, Napier, Judith Jack, Kasper, Anne Klein, Albert Nipon, Le Suit
and Barneys New York. The Company also markets apparel under the Polo Jeans
Company brand licensed from Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, costume jewelry
under the Tommy Hilfiger brand licensed from Tommy Hilfiger Licensing, Inc.
and the Givenchy brand licensed from Givenchy Corporation and footwear under
the Dockers Women brand licensed from Levi Strauss & Co. Each brand is
differentiated by its own distinctive styling, pricing strategy, distribution
channel and target consumer. We primarily contract for the manufacture of our
products through a worldwide network of quality manufacturers. We have
capitalized on our nationally known brand names by entering into various
licenses for several of our trademarks, including Jones New York, Evan-Picone,
Anne Klein New York, Nine West, Gloria Vanderbilt and l.e.i., with select
manufacturers of women's and men's products which we do not manufacture. For
more than 30 years, we have built a reputation for excellence in product
quality and value, and in operational execution.
Jones Apparel Group retained The Leverage Group to guide the development
of this initiative. The Leverage Group is a global marketing consulting firm
based in New York and Los Angeles that specializes in brand, cause and
SOURCE Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Sally McDonough, +1-202-452-7815, mobile: +1-571-259-1481, or
Mobilesally.firstname.lastname@example.org, for Jones Apparel Group, Inc./
/Web site: http://www.jnyintheclassroom.org