See Inside JCPenney’s New Retail Lab: Penney’s

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

The JCPenney department store chain will try again to reinvent itself, 13 months after CEO Jill Soltau took the reins of the 117-year-old retailer.

It has revealed a new “experiential” retail lab store, just outside of Dallas in Hurst, TX, with a reimagined format and new name: Penney’s. The store is built around data and insights learned from more than a year of extensive customer research, and showcases the “comprehensive foundational and transformational changes that the company is implementing as part of a holistic plan to rebuild and renew JCPenney,” the retailer said. The “brand-defining” store is a “direct result of what today’s shoppers want from a retailer,” according to JCPenney.

“[Our customers] told us that they want a retailer that reflects their lives, makes them feel good about themselves, is fun to shop and truly understands the important moments in their lives, big and small,” said Soltau. “We bring that complete experience to life at our brand-defining store. This store is more than a renovated location, it is the fullest articulation of our customer-centered strategy, an investment in our future and a lab to inform decisions to return JCPenney to sustainable, profitable growth.”

The new concept offers a “thoughtfully built and organized” merchandise assortment, which ranges from categories such as “All Day” for casual work wear and weekend wear to “Chill” for stylish 5-to-9 and lounge and sleepwear.

The new “All-You” zone showcases fashion jewelry and accessories, while Sephora inside JCPenney and the Salon and Spa by InStyle brings finishing touches to shoppers’ look. Penney’s also introduces its first barber shop, The Barbery, that offers a fresh cut, shave and shoe shine.

The store offers “The Styling Rooms,” one for women and one for men, equipped with innovative Style @ Your Service technology to help shoppers get new sizes or colors without leaving the fitting room. It’s also staffed with dedicated style experts, free of charge, who can help pull together looks.

In the home section, Penney’s partnered with Pinterest to help customers find inspiration through an in-store style explorer. After answering a few home décor preference questions, shoppers are presented with a curated Pinterest Board featuring JCPenney home products.

The store also caters to families with a kid’s destination with a clubhouse where kids can see artwork come to life and participate in Kids Zone events. Additionally, 13% of the store has been dedicated to 11 lounges, including a parent lounge to give parents a place to recharge. Customers can also get a caffeine fix at the Pearl Cup Grab + Go and the Pearl Cup Bistro.

Penney’s will also offer lifestyle workshops on topics such as how to achieve the perfect blowout, smokey eye and demos of cooking gadgets. The “Movement Studio offers instructor-led classes and a full assortment of activewear.

The JCPenney Portrait Studio has been reimagined through the first-ever “Shutterfly Picture Pop Selfie Studio.”

The JCPenney mobile app plays a big part in the store, allowing shoppers to book appointments at the Salon and Spa and The Barbery, schedule curbside pickup, secure their spot at any workshop or fitness class, reserve clothes to try on and call an associate to get support anywhere in the store.

To showcase the full offering of this new store to customers, there will be in-store events held every weekend between Nov. 1 and Nov. 24. Customers can visit to learn more and view the schedule of events.

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