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First Look: J.C. Penney in beauty makeover

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J.C. Penney is giving a sneak peek of its new beauty offering.

The department store retailer will debut “JCPenney Beauty” shops in ten of its stores starting in October (locations at end of article). Rollouts are planned across all Penney stores by 2023.  

The initiative comes as Penney competitors Target and Kohl’s are both betting big on beauty. Target has started opening in-store Ulta Beauty departments in its stores. Kohl’s has teamed up with Penney’s former beauty partner, Sephora, to open 2,500-sq.-ft. shops in the department store retailer’s locations.

Featuring a delineated floor plan, JCPenney Beauty is designed to provide a one-stop-shop experience. Beauty experts will be trained to guide customers through needs such as finding the right shade or giving a tutorial on the latest new tool, the company said.

The shops will feature more than 170 brands — from traditional favorites to indie finds to minority-owned brands. The assortment (available on Penney’s web site starting on Oct. 15) will span makeup, skincare, haircare, styling tools, fragrance, nailcare and bath and body products.

JCPenney Beauty will feature a shop-in-shop experience with partner Thirteen Lune, an e-commerce site for beauty brands created by black and brown founders. Of the 170-plus brands at JCPenney Beauty, 39 are from Thirteen Lune.

“Rooted in inclusivity, JCPenney Beauty grew out of direct feedback from our customers.” said Michelle Wlazlo, executive VP and chief merchandising officer, JCPenney. “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.”

Half of the brands in the JCPenney Beauty assortment are masstige brands—the tier fueling the most innovation, growth and experimentation. The other half of the business is balanced between mass and prestige brands.

The markets getting the first look at JCPenney Beauty include:

  • Davenport, Fla.;
  • Dearborn, Mich.;
  • Greenville, N.C.;
  • McAllen, Texas;
  • Mesquite, Texas;
  • Niles, Ohio;
  • Springfield, Mo.;
  • Saint Cloud, Minn.;
  • Trumbull, Conn.; and
  • Whittier, Calif.
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