- In the midst of a beauty revamp, J.C. Penney on Thursday introduced new beauty experiences powered by artificial intelligence and augmented reality through a partnership with Revieve.
- The department store launched an AI-driven skincare adviser experience, which uses diagnostics technology to analyze selfies and provide recommendations for a personalized skincare routine. Users of the online experience will also answer a questionnaire.
- Alongside its skincare adviser experience, J.C. Penney also debuted makeup try-on capabilities via AR.
J.C. Penney is turning to technology to help drive its revamped beauty strategy.
The department store in late 2020 announced it was planning a new beauty concept after previous partner Sephora teamed up with Kohl’s instead. The vision included selling a variety of products across the mass, masstige and prestige categories. The new offering launched in October last year at 10 stores, with inclusive beauty site Thirteen Lune serving as a flagship partner. The department store said at the time that the concept would be rolled out to all of its locations by 2023.
From the start, J.C. Penney emphasized inclusivity as a core part of its new beauty concept, and the department store sees its new tech offerings as an expansion of that promise.
"We want to be the shopping destination of choice, offering a personalized approach that fully celebrates and honors them as unique individuals," Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer at J.C. Penney, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Revieve allows us to deliver on our customers' desire for personalization regardless of age, gender, race, skin tone, beauty regimen, or budget.”
The features J.C. Penney is adding have been pursued by the industry at large for years. AR try-on capabilities, specifically for beauty products, have expanded far and wide, and became even more relevant when the pandemic did away with in-store try-on.
Personalized product recommendations — and even custom-made formulas for beauty products — have become increasingly popular among startups entering the beauty space. The likes of Prose, Proven and Function of Beauty create unique product formulas for shoppers based on data from questionnaires and other sources. And even traditional brands and retailers have worked to create unique recommendations for shoppers. Clinique just this July opened a “Clinique Lab” concept at Macy’s that uses diagnostics tools and facial scanning software to analyze skin and provide product recommendations.
For J.C. Penney, the work to improve its beauty offering comes as the retailer more broadly is seeking to reinvent itself after a 2020 bankruptcy. The company has rolled out new private label apparel lines as well that, much like its beauty offering, emphasize inclusion and diversity.