JCPenney to Expand Beauty Concept in Stores Nationwide
JCPenney on Monday announced its plans to debut its beauty concept in stores nationwide, following a successful pilot launch in fall 2021 with 10 brick-and-mortar locations. JCPenney Beauty will expand to 300 stores by early 2023 and 600 stores by the spring, the company announced in a press release.
The beauty concept within JCPenney stores includes makeup, skincare, haircare, styling tools, fragrance, nailcare, and bath and body products from more than 170 brands, including indie and BIPOC-founded brands. JCPenney partnered with thirteen lune, an e-commerce site designed to inspire the discovery of beauty brands created by Black founders, to expand its offering of minority-owned brands. With the thirteen lune partnership, JCPenney Beauty will include more than 60 BIPOC- or female-founded brands.
"Rooted in inclusivity, JCPenney Beauty grew out of direct feedback from our customers,” Michelle Wlazlo, JCPenney's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said in the release. “Together with our brand partners, we have reimagined every aspect of our beauty experience — from the highly curated assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty program and all new e-commerce experience."
Total Retail's Take: JCPenney is the latest retailer to roll out a beauty-shop-within-a-store concept. Competitors Target and Kohl's have both also taken the approach, with the former opening Ulta Beauty shops within its stores, and the latter doing the same with Sephora, which previously held a partnership with JCPenney.
As beauty offerings evolve and brands in the sector partner with stores, it's giving many BIPOC and indie beauty brands a shot at a retail presence. Furthermore, it's giving traditional department stores such as JCPenney an opportunity to lean into a category (beauty) that has performed well in spite of macroeconomic challenges. The ability to experiment and break the mold when it comes to experiential retail — think virtual try-ons, curated experiences, accessible education offerings, etc. — is another alluring aspect of the beauty category for retailers such as JCPenney.