NEW YORK-J.C. Penney has rolled out its newly reformatted home department, featuring shops for major brands, at more than 500 stores nationwide.
The retailer is marking the occasion with housewarming events beginning today and extending through June 9, with live product demonstrations and free gifts with purchase. It also debuted the shops at an event last night at Moynihan Station here, which included J.C. Penney executives, members of the media and executives with its brand partners including Martha Stewart, Michael Graves, Terence Conran and Jonathan Adler.
Stewart’s MarthaHome is one of the shops that has been unveiled in the home-department reformatting. The others are Michael Graves Design, Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler, Design by Conran, Bodum and Ordning&Reda, a stationery and accessories company. In an interview with HFN, Paul Rutenis, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for J.C. Penney’s home division, said the new look of the department is focused on “balance”—the right combination, in the retailer’s view, between what Rutenis called “attractions” (the designer shops) and core and basic products.
“Home is very important to us,” Rutenis said. “With the combination of the designer brands and core products, we need to offer great value at great prices. We’re more diversified in what we offer than ever before, and we are displaying a great understanding of the brand identifications.”
In its rollout of the new department, J.C. Penney concentrated on those stores that have posted the largest sales volume in home. Going forward, the company will adjust its home assortment, including the possible addition of new brands, depending on how shoppers react to the current assortment. “The customer has to vote at the end of the day,” Rutenis said.