JCPenney plans to roll out its new beauty experience nationwide a year after introducing the retailer-owned concept.
JCPenney Beauty debuted in fall 2021 after the retailer’s 15-year relationship with Sephora came to a contentious end in 2020, when the Sephora at Kohl’s collaboration was unveiled. Sephora shop-in-shops at JCPenney have remained in place as the partners finished out their original agreement, which concludes this year. Currently available at 10 pilot locations, JCPenney Beauty will expand to 300 stores by early 2023 and will be present at 600 locations by the spring.
The full JCPenney Beauty assortment already is available to customers online complete with a set of new inclusivity tools rolled out earlier this month, including an AI Skincare Advisor and AR makeup try-on. Inclusivity has been a central tenet of JCPenney’s new beauty concept since its inception, with BIPOC-focused brand Thirteen Lune serving as the flagship partner of the experience. Thirteen Lune — an online destination designed to inspire the discovery of BIPOC-founded beauty brands that resonate with people of all colors — will make up 20% of the JCPenney Beauty assortment, featuring approximately 65 BIPOC-founded and ally brands.
“We exist to celebrate and serve America’s diverse, working families, which is why we are leading the charge to foster beauty inclusivity on a national scale,” said Michelle Wlazlo, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at JCPenney in a statement. “By creating a fully ownable beauty experience, JCPenney can quickly adapt and respond to our customers’ wants and needs. Last year’s preview launch allowed us to learn from our customers and evolve the JCPenney Beauty experience as it expands nationwide and online, making it unlike any other beauty retail experience.”
JCPenney also has worked closely with Landing International, a technology platform serving indie and minority-owned beauty brands, to provide a national retail opportunity for entrepreneurial beauty founders and brands. In addition to its partnership with Thirteen Lune, JCPenney has prioritized the onboarding of a number of indie and K-Beauty (South Korea-derived) brands.
“Thirteen Lune’s partnership with JCPenney Beauty is rooted in our companies’ shared mission to ensure hyper-inclusive beauty is represented in the industry and easily accessible to people, no matter where they live,” said Nyakio Grieco, Co-founder of Thirteen Lune in a statement. “Together, we are leading the way for diverse beauty to establish its place at the forefront of retail, enabling customers to find brands that reflect their unique beauty and discover inclusive brands they love and can stand behind.”
The JCPenney Beauty experience will be paired with more than 600 fully rebranded JCPenney Salons and fully integrated into the JCPenney rewards program. The combined Beauty and Salon offering will include more than 250 brands at a range of price points across makeup, skincare, fragrance, haircare, salon services, wellness and styling products.
To enhance the experience, JCPenney has offered educational training to more than 3,000 dedicated beauty associates and 5,000 stylists with knowledge on the products and beauty needs for different skin tones, hair textures and more. The retailer also has worked with Grieco and a number of brand founders to personally educate JCPenney Beauty associates on the products.
Finally, JCPenney Beauty has partnered with the nonprofit HairToStay to generate awareness and help fund hair preserving treatments for low-income cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, JCPenney will make a $50,000 direct donation and provide education and fundraising initiatives for customers, associates and JCPenney Salon stylists.