JCPenney is expanding its in-store partnership with Fanatics, a licensed sports merchandise retailer. The department store retailer currently houses 325 Fanatics shops, and will add another 325 in time for the 2018 back-to-school season.
The average shop is approximately 650 square feet in size and features a curated selection of local collegiate and professional sports team merchandise that gets refreshed with every new sports season. The retailers have been collaborating since 2014, when they launched the Sports Fan Shop e-Commerce site.
Fanatics also will open flagship shops at 50 JCPenney stores in top sports markets. These locations will be 1,300 square feet in size and will put an emphasis on the experience, with 55-inch mounted flat-screen televisions and iPads that allow shoppers to order from the Sports Fan Shop with a few taps.
JCPenney has had positive experiences bringing other retailers into its locations, including a growing partnership with Sephora. The beauty retailer will open an additional 30 store-within-a-store locations in 2018, bringing the total to 670.
Time will tell if JCPenney’s collaborative efforts can reignite the brand’s appeal during a difficult period in its history. The retailer lost CEO Marvin Ellison to Lowe’s on June 1 and its revenue dropped 4.3% to $2.58 billion in Q1. Additionally, JCPenney plans to close and sell its Wauwatosa, Wisc. distribution center this summer.