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JCPenney to take beauty offering nationwide

Department store JCPenney's new beauty section in its stores includes bright lighting and white fixtures under a sign that says JCPenney Beauty, spelled out in red lettering.

Photo: JCPenney

JCPenney is rolling out its new beauty department to its stores nationwide, it said today.

Why it matters: After losing Sephora, JCPenney was badly in need of a replacement, as beauty generates repeat business and foot traffic. The company unveiled its concept late last year, starting with 10 pilot locations.

Of note: JCPenney is in the midst of a major makeover after emerging from bankruptcy under new owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Capital Partners in late 2020.

What they're saying: "The national rollout builds on the flagship partnership with Thirteen Lune, a first of its kind, e-commerce destination designed to inspire the discovery of BIPOC-founded beauty brands that resonate with people of all colors," JCPenney said in a statement.

  • By early 2023 the 10 pilot locations will be expanded to 300 stores, growing to 600 by next spring.
  • The size of the beauty sections ranges from 2,000 to 3,600 square feet, and the products are available online.

Yes, and: "Since launch, we've onboarded 100 new brands of which 60+ are BIPOC- and/or female-founded, bringing our assortment to a total of 250+ diverse and unique brands," says Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer.

  • Brands include EleVen by Venus Williams, MinttyMakeup, Buttah, Monika Blunder, Wander Beauty, NCLA Beauty and Vamigas.
  • Indie and Korean beauty brands are also part of the mix, such as CosRx and Hanskin.
  • JCPenney has also partnered with Revieve to provide virtual makeup try-on and skin care assessment capabilities.

What they're saying: "I can’t get into specifics, but we’ve been very encouraged by the traffic and demand we’ve seen from our initial 10 preview locations," Wlazlo says, in response to a request for financial metrics.

  • It will also be integrated with its 600 JCPenney Salons, with salon customers visiting six times per year, while cross-shop among salon customers is 78%, Wlazlo adds.
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