J.C. Penney to Open Baby Shops in 500 Stores
J.C. Penney is expanding the baby products it sells at stores beyond clothing as the department store joins the many other chains trying to claim some of the Babies"R"Us sales up for grabs. The Plano, Texas-based chain is opening baby shops in 500 stores that are near now-shuttered Babies"R"Us locations. That brand closed the rest of its more than 200 stores in June after parent company Toys"R"Us filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its business. Starting Aug. 30, J.C. Penney will sell in its stores items like cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats that it had formerly sold on its website only.
Total Retail's Take: An opportunity presents itself, and J.C. Penney is wisely trying to capitalize on it. The collapse of Babies"R"Us has left significant marketshare up for grabs in the baby category, and the department store chain is dedicating valuable real estate in its stores to the products. With J.C. Penney's national store presence, the retailer is able to identify and leverage locations that are close in proximity to now-closed Babies"R"Us stores to "steal" some of that in-store traffic. Furthermore, I would expect J.C. Penney to be more aggressive in marketing and promoting its baby registry business now that it has dedicated baby shops in its stores. This would seem to be a natural extension for the retailer, and offers potential synergies with Penney's wedding registry business. First comes the marriage, then comes the family. J.C. Penney wants to be the brand to celebrate both of those milestones with.