JCPenney has launched a new store concept with experiential retailing at its core in Hurst, Texas. The store was built around insights gathered from more than a year of customer research, and features a new approach to product organization, in-store beauty services for both men and women and lifestyle workshops.
The first things shoppers will notice when they step through the doors is that the assortment is organized by how they live their lives. Brands and products are curated and divided into categories based on the lifestyle or event they represent:
- All Day: Casual work wear and weekend wear;
- On Point: Slightly more refined and polished items;
- Move: Low- to high-impact active gear;
- Chill: Stylish 5-to-9 lounge and sleepwear;
- Shine: Clothes for special occasions; and
- All-You: Fashion jewelry and accessories.
JCPenney also has partnered with Pinterest to launch an in-store style explorer. Shoppers can answer several questions about their home décor preferences to see a curated Pinterest Board populated with home products that best meet their needs and match their style.
Experiences And Partnerships Help The Store Stand Out
The experiential side of the store includes an in-store Sephora shop, the Salon and Spa by InStyle and The Barbery, JCPenney’s first barber shop. Shoppers also will have access to two styling rooms, one for men and one for women, where they can use Style @ Your Service technology to help get new sizes or colors without leaving the fitting room, and speak to dedicated style experts to perfect their look.
The experiential side of the store will be enhanced with Style + Substance workshops on topics such as how to achieve the perfect blowout and demos of the latest cooking gadgets. The store also features The Movement Studio, which will feature health and wellness classes and an assortment of activewear. The Shutterfly Picture Pop Selfie Studio is available for capturing family moments.
Children will be able to enjoy their own section, featuring a clubhouse where artwork comes to life and Kid Zone events. Their parents can relax in one of 11 lounges, which account for 13% of the store’s space and include the Pearl Cup Grab + Go or the Pearl Cup Bistro for shoppers in need of a caffeine fix.
JCPenney has integrated the new features into its app, which lets shoppers book appointments at the Salon and Spa by InStyle and The Barbery; schedule curbside pickup; secure their spot at any Style + Substance workshop and Movement Studio class; and reserve clothes to try on. Customers also can use the app in-store to receive help from an associate wherever they are.
Flagship Serves As Testing Ground For The Entire Chain
The store will serve as a testing ground for new ideas before they are rolled out to other locations. Taking this approach can help JCPenney save on remodels by using proven successful strategies, rather than straining the retailer’s unsteady financials, which included a 9% same-store sales decline and revenue declines of 7.4% to $2.62 billion in Q2 2019.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do,” said Jill Soltau, CEO of JCPenney in a statement. “They told us that they want a retailer that reflects their lives, makes them feel good about themselves, is fun to shop and truly understands the important moments in their lives, big and small. We bring that complete experience to life at our brand-defining store. This store is more than a renovated location, it is the fullest articulation of our customer-centered strategy, an investment in our future and a lab to inform decisions to return JCPenney to sustainable, profitable growth.”
However, JCPenney isn’t putting all its eggs in a single flagship store basket. Other efforts to turn around the company’s fortunes include outdoor apparel stores-within-stores and a resale partnership with ThredUP. These efforts have helped the retailer’s stock price climb up to around $1 after it hit 69 cents back in August, a drop that raised the specter of a delisting from the New York Stock Exchange.
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