J.C. Penney has found a beauty strategy to replace its deal with Sephora, which has moved on to partner with Kohl's instead. Beginning mid-October in 10 stores and online, a new beauty concept will feature "mass, masstige, and prestige" beauty products, including BIPOC-founded brands.
The department store has brought on a flagship partner in inclusive beauty site Thirteen Lune, founded by Nyakio Beauty's Nyakio Grieco, and Patrick Herning, founder of luxury plus-size fashion label 11 Honoré, according to a company press release.
The spaces feature a delineated floor plan and beauty experts, and will be rolled out to all stores by 2023, the company said.
Last year, as J.C. Penney prepared for bankruptcy, it also tussled with Sephora to keep their relationship intact. Both Sephora and rival Ulta have found it worthwhile to partner with third parties in addition to running their own locations. While J.C. Penney worked its way through the Chapter 11 process (exiting with new owners at the end of the year), Target and Ulta worked on their new relationship and Sephora landed at Kohl's.
That left Penney to plot a new offering on its own. While somewhat volatile, the lucrative beauty and skincare segment can't be ignored, however. To develop its new "JC Penney Beauty" concept, the retailer conducted "extensive consumer research," ultimately developing an assortment of makeup, skincare, haircare, styling tools, fragrance, nail care, and bath and body products at various price points from more than 170 labels, some of them exclusive to Penney.
"Rooted in inclusivity, JCPenney Beauty grew out of direct feedback from our customers," chief merchant Michelle Wlazlo said in a statement. "Together with our brand partners, we have reimagined every aspect of our beauty experience — from the highly curated assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty program and all new e-commerce experience."
Penney stores opening the spaces this month are in Davenport, Florida; Dearborn, Michigan; Greenville, North Carolina; McAllen and Mesquite, Texas; Niles, Ohio; Springfield, Missouri; Saint Cloud, Minnesota; Trumbull, Connecticut; and Whittier, California.