JCPenney Unveils First Shops Concept

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IPads will be available for shoppers to use at JCPenney’s new Levi’s Shops scheduled to open in 700 stores next month.

Plano, TX—While there has been much speculation about JCPenney’s “Fair and Square” pricing strategy, the latest part of the department store’s transformation is being unveiled: the first three of its Shops concept.

Scheduled for debut just in time for back to school shopping will be shops for Levi’s, i jeans by Buffalo and The Original Arizona Jean Co. And to kick things off—and perhaps give an idea about what the new JCPenney shopping experience might be like—the retailer is providing free haircuts to kids at all its salons during August.

“The back to school season presents the perfect opportunity to offer free haircuts for kids and unveil our new Shops, giving customers a first glimpse of what will soon be an entirely new retail experience,” said JCPenney’s CEO Ron Johnson.

The first 700 JCPenney stores were renovated to make room for the first installment of brand Shops opening Wednesday. Over the next few years, JCPenney plans to “visually transform into a collection of Shops showcasing major apparel and home brands for every style and budget.” Among the brands that will be included in this Shops concept include: Cynthia Rowley, Tourneau, Michael Graves, Betsey Johnson, Joe Fresh, Vivienne Tam, Lulu Guiness and Nike.

Levi’s Denim Bar: Serving up the Perfect Fit

Together with Levi Strauss & Co., JCPenney created a Levi’s Denim Bar, launching in men’s, that features the largest assortment of Levi’s denim ever offered at JCPenney with 11 fits and 88 washes, most retailing at $40 or under. Each Denim Bar is equipped with iPads so customers can access more sizes, styles and finishes through a virtual Denim Bar experience that is also available on Staffed by specially-trained Levi’s Fit Specialists, Levi’s Shops offer the added convenience of mobile checkout, marking the first time this technology is available in JCPenney, and one that Johnson hopes to roll out storewide.

A Modern Aesthetic: i jeans by Buffalo

JCPenney is introducing i jeans by Buffalo, a new “accessible luxury” brand developed by Buffalo David Bitton for men, women and children. This premium label brings the latest European trends into a comprehensive collection of sportswear, outerwear, accessories and denim that features quality fabrics and trims, exceptional fits and design details like ombre and vintage hand washing.

Arizona: A Whole New State

The Original Arizona Jean Co., a longstanding favorite for back to school, has an all-new assortment of fashion denim and apparel in dedicated Arizona Shops for guys and juniors. The entire Arizona line has been completely reinvented with better quality fabrics, including updated prints, washes and stitching details inherent to this heritage brand. Under JCPenney’s everyday low pricing strategy, Arizona skinny jeans, for example, would retail for $17.

September Shops: Liz Claiborne, Izod and jcp

Renovations continue as stores prepare to unveil the second wave of Shops opening Sept. 1 for Liz Claiborne, Izod and the introduction of jcp, a new private brand dedicated to “high-quality fashion basics.” The Shops rollout is planned to continue through 2014.

As part of its back to school season during August, JCPenney is allowing shoppers to round up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar, donating the difference to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H who jointly serve more than 10 million children a year. The donations collected through the retailer’s charitable giving program, JCP Cares, will make it possible for more children to participate in life-enriching afterschool programs in communities across the country.

Additionally, JCPenney will donate a dollar, up to $50,000, for every student who receives a free haircut on Aug. 1.