Consumers Find Penney’s Off-mall Concept On Target

Oct 07, 2004

By George Anderson

The consumer reviews are coming in and by a Detroit Free Press account, at least, they are positive for JCPenney’s new off-mall store concept.

The newest stand-alone store, the first built in Michigan, features wider aisles, central checkouts and shopping carts along with an expanded home department, window coverings, clothing sections, jewelry, portrait studio and a beauty salon with 50 hair stylists and 26 stations for facials, nail care and waxing.

Consumers to the Michigan store, located at 31510 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville, were impressed with their first visit.

Shopper Carm Proeitto told the Free Press, “This is a blessing for us. The selection so far is great.”

Vince Miri echoed that sentiment on the selection of products available in the store. “It’s great. They carry my sizes. I wear small, and it’s hard to find,” he said.

The new Penney cost the retailer $32 million to remodel the store. The company expects that annual sales per square foot for its off-mall stores will exceed $200 compared to $143 a square foot for its mall-based locations.

Moderator’s Comments: Is JCPenney on track with its standalone store concept? How does what it is doing compare to department store competitors such
as Kohl’s, Sears, etc.?

It’s interesting to note the difference between what Penney is doing with its standalone stores compared to what Sears is doing with its Grand stores.

Penney, aside from the central checkouts and shopping carts, appears to be focusing on delivering a more accessible department store with broad selection,
expanded services and hours.

Sears, on the other hand, is doing its approximation of a supercenter with its Grand format.
George Anderson – Moderator

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