J.C. Penney rolls out three shop concepts in 700 stores; second wave set for Sept. 1
Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney on Aug. 1, will open in-store shop concepts for three brands—Levi’s, i jeans by Buffalo and The Original Arizona Jean Co.—in nearly 700 stores nationwide. To coordinate with the back-to-school season, the retailer also is offering free haircuts for kids in its salons in the month of August.
"The back-to-school season presents the perfect opportunity to offer free haircuts for kids and unveil our new Shops, giving customers a first glimpse of what will soon be an entirely new retail experience," said Ron Johnson, CEO, J.C. Penney.
J.C. Penney’s second wave of branded shops will open Sept. 1, and will feature dedicated shops for Liz Claiborne, IZOD, and jcp – a new private brand dedicated to high-quality fashion basics.
The Levi’s shop, dubbed the Levi’s Denim Bar experience, will launch in Men’s with 11 fits and 88 washes. Each Denim Bar is equipped with iPads so customers can access more sizes, styles and finishes through a virtual experience that is also available on Jcp.com/levis. The shop, staffed by Levi’s Fit Specialists, will offer mobile checkout, the first time the technology has been available in J.C. Penney stores.
"Now, customers can pull up a stool at one of our Levi’s Denim Bars and work with a specialist to choose from a curated selection of Levi’s jeans that best expresses their personal style,” said Liz Sweney, chief merchant, J.C. Penney.
J.C. Penney said its in-house Original Arizona Jean Co. line has been completely reinvented with better quality fabrics, including updated prints, washes and stitching details inherent to the heritage brand.
I jeans by Buffalo, a new brand developed by Buffalo David Bitton for men, women and children, will cater to fashion-savvy shoppers who prefer modern clothing with contemporary silhouettes. It will include sportswear, outerwear, accessories and denim.
Last week, Joe Fresh, the Canadian cheap-chic retailer, announced it had entered into an agreement to roll out in-store shops next spring in approximately J.C. Penney stores nationwide. The launch is planned for spring 2013.
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J. Crew to make Asia debut in 2013
Hong Kong — A Tuesday report by Bloomberg said that J. Crew will open its first Asia store – in Hong Kong – as early as 2013. CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler told the news service that the retailer is also seeking sites in Beijing and Shanghai.
“We feel that we’re ready to go international,” said Drexler. “Going international is a strong learning curve and it could distract us from building our business in the United States, but we feel that the time is right now.”
Drexler also said that the company will open a store in London next year, ahead of Hong Kong, according to the report. It presently doesn’t have any stores outside the United States and Canada.
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Toys ‘R’ Us announces new and renovated stores in 21 markets
Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us on Tuesday said that by the end of 2012 it will have opened eight new stores and remodeled 13 existing locations to the side-by-side Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us model.
The retailer said the 21 stores across 13 states are representative of its strategy to bring both concepts together in an integrated store format.
"As we continue to invest and build upon our portfolio of stores by integrating Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us under one roof, our strategy has provided the opportunity to capture customers at their family’s earliest stage and grow with them through childhood," said CEO Jerry Storch.
By the end of 2012, the Toys “R” Us said it expects to operate 204 side-by-side stores nationwide, accounting for nearly 25% of its store base.
Also, as part of the integrated strategy, Toys “R” Us said it has updated a number of existing locations by renovating interiors and exteriors during the integration process. Stores began opening in March and will continue opening through November, the retailer said
The side-by-side strategy first debuted in 2006, and range in size from 30,000 sq. ft. to 70,000 sq. ft.