JCPenney home re-do to roll out in spring

Retail Editor 1, Don Hogsett, November 20, 2013

Plano, Texas - JCPenney's latest re-merchandising of the home floor should be substantially in place this coming spring, with the earlier 2013 reset's space-hogging shop-in-shops giving way to classification presentations, assortments of soft home getting more space and a heavier emphasis on the private label JCPenney Home brand.
"There are about 10 different initiatives in home," ceo Mike Ullman said during this morning's call with analysts. He also said the company was taken by surprise when the launch last June of a completely reorganized home department failed to deliver positive comps.
JCPenney is boosting the proportion of traditional lifestyle in the department and adding more opening price point goods. Good/better/best tiers are going to be more clearly called out.
Under the transformation of the floor earlier this year, hard lines outstripped soft goods; the balance is being restored to 50-50, he said. Soft window and luggage are getting more space, and Ullman said JCPenney also sees opportunities in the frame, candle and gifting businesses.
Among the home brands introduced earlier this year, Ullman indicated portions of the Jonathan Adler and Michael Graves assortments may get a reprieve. "We'll have an opportunity during holiday to see if those giftable items really resonate. And we'll modify our behavior based on what the customer is telling us," he said.

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