A decade after the launch of its partnership with beauty retailer Sephora, J.C. Penney will add 60 additional Sephora concessions inside its stores, the company announced this week.
More than half of the Sephora concessions will open by the end of the month, and most others will be up and running by mid-June, positioning those stores to capture greater market share ahead of the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, J.C. Penney said.
J.C. Penney will open a new flagship Sephora location inside its newly relocated store at Northridge Mall in Salinas, CA. The concession will span approximately 3,000 square feet. Most Sephora concessions take up 2,000 square feet of space inside J.C. Penney stores.
There are now Sephora concessions in more than half of J.C. Penney's 1,000 nationwide locations. The concessions offer fragrance and beauty products from close to 50 different prestige brands, including Lancôme, Marc Jacobs Beauty, NARS and Kate Somerville as well as the Sephora Collection private label.
The partnership with Sephora represents one of the best moves J.C. Penney has made in recent years, leveraging a concession retailing or “store-within-a-store” approach that in the best scenarios works well for both companies in question. While J.C. Penney gets a boost from Sephora’s reputation and traffic, the beauty retailer said J.C. Penney has helped elevate its brand visibility.
"Our 10-year collaboration with J.C. Penney has been an incredible partnership that has yielded both business growth and unmatched exposure in numerous markets across the United States," said Satish Malhotra, EVP for Sephora inside J.C. Penney, Canada and Latin America.
Sephora helped revolutionize beauty retailing, removing the aloofness of the department-store beauty counter and bringing more freedom to try and buy. Perhaps that’s why J.C. Penney's Sephora concessions are smack in the middle of the store.
In any case, it’s natural for J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison to want to expand on the partnership's success, which gives the mid-tier department store a major differentiator compared to rivals Kohl’s, Sears, and even Macy’s.
"When we first introduced a Sephora inside J.C. Penney in 2006, it was a revolutionary concept,” Angela Swanner, SVP for Sephora inside J.C. Penney, said in a statement. “J.C. Penney was one of the first department store retailers to forgo the traditional beauty counter and work with a global beauty brand to build a dynamic Sephora shop inside its stores. Ten years and nearly 600 locations later, Sephora inside J.C. Penney has become a leading beauty destination that will continue to be a growth driver in 2016 and beyond."