Sephora scales down for scaled-down Penney’s
As analysts and news outlets debate whether or not J.C. Penney is currently experiencing a recovery, one undeniable success has been the chain’s relationship with Sephora. But this relationship has reached a roadblock that both the retailer and the brand are working to get around.
The popular, profitable store-within-a-store currently appears in all or most of Penney’s 600 full-sized department stores, Fortune reports. So in order to expand beyond this saturation point, the companies have been working to create a smaller version of the Sephora store-within-a-store. While it is only being piloted in one location at the moment, the chain has hinted at the idea of expanding the miniature store-within-a-store into more of the 400 small-format J.C. Penney stores around the country.
J.C. Penney has been taking other steps to try to build on recent momentum with certain Millennials. The chain has been getting 45 percent of its sales from what it calls “the modern American mom,” according to CNBC, and Sephora’s popularity is part of that. But Penney is also taking steps to cater to Millennial men in the same age range with its current fall fashion line.
Industry experts have noted that it’s crucial for J.C. Penney to improve its apparel offerings if it wants to truly rebound.
At the same time, J.C. Penney is no longer maintaining a strict focus on apparel. Earlier this year the retailer began selling home appliances, Forbes.com reported. The move came after a successful pilot in 22 stores.
J.C. Penney’s 40,000 square-foot small-format stores tend to appear in smaller markets like Caribou, Maine, according to Fortune. But figuring out how to tease further success out of the existing smaller stores could provide some lessons for the company’s future. With numerous chain retailers mulling or moving on small, urban formats to better serve Millennials, J.C. Penney could have a testing ground for its own urban endeavors.
- J.C. Penney Is Testing a New Sephora Format For Its Smaller Stores – Fortune
- J.C. Penney needs a fashion turnaround, and soon – RetailWire
- Millennial shoppers driving growth at JC Penney – CNBC
- Sephora succeeds inside J.C. Penney – RetailWire
- What Penney’s Appliances Can Teach Macy’s And Others About Customer Spin Cycles – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is J.C. Penney wise to expand its Sephora relationship to include smaller stores? How do you feel about Penney’s rebound strategy to date? What other moves would you recommend for the chain?