Will omnichannel make the J.C. Penney and Sephora partnership more successful?
Store-within-a-store concepts are not uncommon today, but few can claim to have achieved the success of Sephora’s presence at J.C. Penney. The concept, which debuted in 2006, has grown steadily over the years, and yesterday the two retailers announced that 70 new shops would be opened inside Penney locations this year while 32 others would be expanded. By the end of 2017, there will be nearly 650 Sephora inside J.C. Penney shops in operation.
Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO of the department store chain, called the Sephora shops “one of our biggest advantages over the competition,” in a statement.
“We are also taking an omnichannel approach to shopping Sephora inside J.C. Penney by strengthening our technology and infrastructure to reach new beauty customers through JCPenney.com,” Mr. Ellison said. “We’ve launched the ability for customers to purchase Sephora online and pick up their order at a JCPenney store the same day. This is one example of how we’re delivering on the customer’s expectations for accessibility and convenience.”
Penney announced it has “significantly expanded” the assortment of Sephora products it carries online. The department store also revealed that it would soon add a feature that would enable customers to book makeovers with Sephora beauty consultants in its stores. Currently, Sephora shoppers have access to content on makeup trends, gift ideas and upcoming events at the beauty brand’s shops inside Penney stores.
Last year, Penney and Sephora introduced a new, larger concept inside the department store. The beauty flagship covered about 3,000-square-feet — the typical Sephora inside J.C. Penney shop is 2,000-square-feet — to offer a larger assortment of brands, merchandising displays and space for service offerings. Penney opened 60 new Sephora shops inside its stores in 2016.
Mr. Ellison has called the chain’s beauty strategy, built largely on its association with Sephora, one of the pillars of his strategic plan for growing Penney’s business. On the chain’s fourth quarter earnings call, Mr. Ellison said his company had pulled off “one of the greatest financial turnarounds in retail history,” although many had predicted its demise just a few years earlier.
- Sephora inside J.C. Penney – JCPenney.com
- JCPenney Partners With Sephora to Expand Beauty Retail Offerings With 70 New Locations and 32 Expansions Nationwide – J.C. Penney Company, Inc./Sephora Americas
- Sephora succeeds inside J.C. Penney – RetailWire
- Has J.C. Penney pulled off ‘one of the greatest financial turnarounds in retail history’? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why has the J.C. Penney and Sephora partnership succeeded to the degree to which it has? Will Penney’s omnichannel approach to grow the Sephora business prove successful?