The long-promised comeback for struggling retailer J.C. Penney may start Friday at a store 45 minutes from its headquarters in Plano.
The retailer will host the grand opening of Penney’s, a new concept store at North East Mall in Hurst.
"Friday morning is the beginning of our future. It really truly is. This is our moment," said Shawn Gensch, Chief Customer Officer at J.C. Penney.
NBC 5 got an exclusive look at the results of a 13-week renovation that happened as the store was still open to shoppers. And, it was shoppers who shaped the retailer’s new vision during a year of customer research.
"What we heard from our customer is they want to do more than just shop. They want to explore. They want to discover. So, we've put some one of a kind things here," Gensch said.
The new features include:
• Women and men’s fitting rooms that come with a styling expert and if you need to find a new item, size or color, you scan it right there and a style expert will bring it to you.
• There’s a first-ever barber shop called The Barbery.
• Pearl Cup Coffee will have a bistro on the second floor, and a grab-and-go location on the first floor.
• A Dallas Cowboys fan shop built in partnership with the team.
• A first-ever "move studio" that will feature fitness, stretching and yoga classes.
• Other lifestyle workshops will include makeup, hair styling, cooking.
• Bright lighting and partnership with Shutterfly will provide shoppers social media moments.
Gensch, who joined the team back in May, says what shoppers will see will see at North East Mall is "not a flag ship. It's not a prototype. It's actually sort of a best articulation of our brand."
"We listened to our customers, asked them what they wanted, what they expected from Penney's, and this is what we heard," he said. "We heard they love shopping, They want a great experience when they're doing it, and they want to have things to do while they're exploring brands and fashion."
Experience is a key focus in rebuilding the iconic retailer.
"Inspiring shared experiences and that's what we what our shoppers say they want," Gensch said.
"We don't know, to this scale, how many brand-defining stores we're gonna do. We know this one is here in Hurst. It's gonna stay. And we're gonna learn from it," he said. "There's been a lot of wins and losses in a 117-year-old company but 117 years plus starts on Friday when we reveal Penny's and come forward and say, 'This is who we are.'"
J.C. Penney released the following information:
JCPenney today shared its brand-new store, a completely reimagined format just outside of Dallas in Hurst, Texas, that represents the Company’s strategy to put the customer at the center of its business. As a brand-defining store, it is experiential at its core, and a direct result of what today’s shoppers want from a retailer. The store is built around data and insights learned from more than a year of extensive customer research, and it showcases the comprehensive foundational and transformational changes that the Company is implementing as part of a holistic plan to rebuild and renew JCPenney.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do,” said JCPenney Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau. They told us that they want a retailer that reflects their lives, makes them feel good about themselves, is fun to shop and truly understands the important moments in their lives, big and small. We bring that complete experience to life at our brand-defining store.” Soltau continued, “this store is more than a renovated location, it is the fullest articulation of our customer-centered strategy, an investment in our future and a lab to inform decisions to return JCPenney to sustainable, profitable growth.”
Shopping Styled by You
From the moment customers walk through the doors, they will discover the assortment is thoughtfully built and organized around how they live their lives and the many different occasions in their day, week and year. Brands and products are curated for shopping enthusiasts and how they want to shop.
All Day for casual work wear and weekend wear
On Point for when customers want to be a bit more refined and polished
Move for everything from low to high impact
Chill for the stylish 5-to-9 you and great lounge and sleepwear
Shine for those special occasions
Customers will be immersed in shopping nirvana in the All-You zone showcasing fashion jewelry and accessories, Sephora® inside JCPenney and the Salon and Spa by InStyle®, helping them bring the finishing touches to their look. Penney’s introduces its first barber shop, The Barbery, that offers a fresh cut, shave and shoe shine.
The Company is working to make shopping easier with two The Styling Rooms, one for women and one for men. These are equipped with innovative Style @ Your Service technology to help get new sizes or colors without leaving the fitting room and staffed with dedicated style experts, free of charge, who can help pull together the best look for any occasion.
Penney’s partnered with Pinterest to help customers who are looking for a home refresh to find the inspiration they need through an in-store style explorer. After answering a few home décor preference questions, shoppers will be presented with a curated Pinterest Board featuring JCPenney home products that best meet their needs and match their style.
The store continues to be filled with the brands customers know and love to inspire style for every moment. The Company’s most trusted private brands, including Worthington®, Liz Claiborne®, St. John’s Bay® and Stafford® are available alongside national brands such as Levi’s®, Nike® and adidas®.
Inspiring Shared Experiences
For those looking for more than just a new look, Style + Substance offers lifestyle workshops on topics such as how to achieve the perfect blowout, smokey eye and even demos of the latest cooking gadgets. The Movement Studio creates a health and wellness destination with instructor-led classes, as well as a full assortment of private and national brand activewear, to crush all fitness goals.
Knowing that parents are not the only shoppers looking for fun and inspiration, the store has a kid’s destination with a clubhouse where kids can see artwork come to life and participate in the Company’s Kids Zone events. Through the Company’s commitment to customers, 13 percent of the store has been dedicated to 11 lounges, including a parent lounge to give parents a place to recharge. Customers can also refuel and get a caffeine fix at the Pearl Cup Grab + Go or the Pearl Cup Bistro.
For decades, the JCPenney Portrait Studio has been capturing family moments, which is reimagined through the first-ever Shutterfly Picture Pop Selfie Studio.
The JCPenney app enables customers to get the most out of this in-store experience. App users can book their appointments at the Salon and Spa by InStyle and The Barbery, schedule curbside pickup, secure their spot at any Style + Substance workshop and Movement Studio class, reserve clothes to try on and call an associate to get support anywhere in the store.
To showcase the full offering of this new store to customers, there will be in-store events held every weekend between Nov. 1 and Nov. 24. Customers can visit www.jcpenney.com/hurst to learn more and view the schedule of events.