Bloomberg cuts ribbon on new JCPenney

Gary Evans, Carole Sloan, March 29, 2004

With New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg cutting the store opening ribbon, JCPenney launched one of its largest units at the Queens Center on Friday.

The 200,000-square-foot store replaces a smaller 137,000-square-foot unit in the same area but at the opposite end of the dramatically expanded urban center.

Home furnishings is one of the major beneficiaries of the expanded space, occupying 17 percent of the total; now 34,000 square feet, up from 8,000 square feet in the former store.

Home textiles has a lion's share of the new space with windows, beds and sheets occupying premier locations of their own.

New to the store is the furniture department, housewares, lamps, accessories, pictures and clocks.

In home textiles, nine window bays front the main aisle with additional bays set four deep back to the wall with inventory on two sides and product in use on the other two sides.

The sheet department — apart from decorative bedding — features eight end-caps with fixtures working back to the wall presentation. Decorative bedding features six beds on the main aisle, beginning at the entry to the store on the mall's third level. Additional beds are set back three deep.

The JCPenney Home Collection is the major brand featured throughout, followed by Croscill Classics in window and decorative bedding, and Veratex in decorative bedding.

The new store is the department store group's largest unit in the metro New York market. The former store was one of the company's top performing units, with one of the highest sales-per-square-foot performances, despite not having a complete merchandise offering. The new store is expected to exceed that performance because of the expanded product offerings, said Jeff Owen, store manager.

The store also features updated changes including shopping carts in the home area, special Penney shopping bags for other departments, wider aisles, improved lighting and accessible customer service centers.

The store has the most diverse customer base and store staff in the company with 29 ethnicities represented.

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