JCPenney Testing New Concept In Inclusive Beauty Products At Trumbull Mall

TRUMBULL – JCPenney’s door at Westfield Trumbull Mall had barely opened on Friday morning and two Fairfield County teenage girls, Emily Presa and Alexa Hammond, were eagerly checking out the department store’s latest addition.

The venerable Texas-based company launched a pilot program on Friday to promote diversity and inclusion in the skincare, makeup and beauty segment. JCPenney has taken the space that was once occupied by Sephora and created its own ‘store within a store’.

The department store’s upper-level space is one of 10 nationwide – and the only one in the Northeast where the pilot program has started. Over 170 beauty brands at varying prices are on display in the brightly lit space.

It was the prices that attracted Presa and Hammond to the store.


Before Sephora closed in the JCPenney just over a month ago, Sephora’s customer loyalty rewards could only be spent there.

“It will be really good to take our money further,” said Presa, a 19-year-old from Bridegport.

“You can use the rewards for anything you buy from Penneys here,” said Hammond, an 18-year-old from Stratford.

The remaining JC Penney locations will join the “One-Store Store Concepts” upon expiration of commercial agreements with Sephora. Lucy Richards, general manager of JC Penney’s Trumbull, said the deployment would be complete by the end of next year.

Some of the beauty products for people of color include Buttah Skin, Bossy Cosmetics, Mischo Beauty, Pholk Beauty, Prados Beauty, Sara Happ, Spraise, Vernon François, and Wander Beauty.

Inclusive beauty products are also available on the JCPenney site.

Of the more than 170 beauty brands that are part of the pilot program, around 40 are produced by minority entrepreneurs for people of color. The assortment will include makeup, skin care, hair care, styling tools, perfumes, nail care, and bath and body products.

“Rooted in inclusiveness, JCPenney Beauty was born out of direct feedback from our clients. Said Michelle Wlazlo, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of JCPenney. “In collaboration with our partner brands, we have redesigned every aspect of our beauty experience, from the exquisite assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty program and all new e-commerce experience. “

Customers will be able to earn and redeem points on JCPenney Beauty products as part of the JCPenney Rewards loyalty program. Chain credit card members earn 1 point for every $ 1 spent, and non-credit card members earn 1 point for every $ 2 spent.

Once 200 points are reached, members earn a $ 10 reward certificate.

The retailer is the only physical location in the United States for several brands, including I’M MEME, nooni, Kleem Organics and Better Natured.

JC Penney filed for federal bankruptcy in May 2020 and came out of it last December, after being rescued by mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management.

Thanks to the deal, JCPenney was able to emerge from bankruptcy with $ 1.5 billion in new debt financing.

The reaction to Penney’s new strategy among retail experts has been mixed.

David Cadden, professor emeritus at the School of Business at Quinnipiac University, said marketing inclusive beauty products to people of color is “an interesting idea.”

“If they were to take the entrepreneurs of color whose products they sell and use them to generate interest in the local community or to work with local educational institutions, it could be more effective,” he said. declared.

Burt Flickinger, chief executive of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, said drugstore chains under-serve communities of color on beauty products. This could allow JCPenney to break into this segment of the market, he said.

But Flickinger said JCPenney’s bankruptcy hit Sephora hard and the French company ultimately opted for more independent locations.

Sephora’s flagship store on the Champs-Élysée in Paris attracts six million a year, he said.

“Sephora is one of the most powerful beauty brands in the world,” said Flickinger.

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