J.C. Penney’s New Home
By George Anderson
J.C. Penney may discover the adage, “You can’t go home again” to be particularly fitting to its situation as the company is finding a new base away from its traditional mall surroundings in standalone locations across the country.
The retailer has big expansion plans and is looking to increase its store count by 175 over the next four years. Many, if not most, of those new venues will be at off-mall sites.
Brenda Romero, a spokesperson for J.C. Penney, told the San Antonio Express-News, “This new design allows us the flexibility to continue building new stores and expanding in different markets without being dependent on new mall developments.”
Ward Kampf, president of retail leasing for The Rim shopping center in San Antonio where Penney is opening an off-mall concept store in the fall, said, “They have a core audience that fits in nicely with Target and the other mass merchants. They don’t see themselves as a traditional department store.”
Michelle Tan, an analyst with UBS Securities, said Penney’s off-mall format has proven successful and departments such Sephora cosmetics are bringing new consumers into its stores.
“With everything, it’s a market-share game,” she said. “America is over-stored and there’s no shortage of a retail supply. But what Penney’s brings to the table is unique, and they have a well-thought-out plan.”
Moderator’s Comment: Penney has identified the off-mall
opportunity for its business. What do you see as the biggest challenges to its
achieving its objectives with this part of its business? Conversely, what must
it do to meet or exceed its, and others, expectations for this portion of its
George Anderson – Moderator
push: S.A. presence to grow with off-mall concept store at The Rim – San Antonio
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