JCPenney rolls out appliance showrooms, expands home

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) is rolling out appliance showrooms to 500 stores following a successful three-market pilot begun in January.

It's part of the retailer's efforts to grow the Home business, which also includes the expansion of window coverings with the addition of 25 percent more floor space devoted to ready-made curtains, blinds, shades and decorative hardware.

"We are taking steps to grow our business by introducing new brands, products and categories where our customers have shown us that there is a clear demand," said CEO Marvin Ellison in a statement. "Since launching major appliances in 22 stores last February, the response has been outstanding. The pilot confirmed that we should not limit our business to apparel and soft home in order to achieve significant revenue growth." 

The rollout will begin in July and continue through fall. Ultimately, half of all JCPenney stores will offer a selection of kitchen and laundry appliances from Samsung, LG, GE Appliances and Hotpoint. This will correspond to the locations offering expanded window displays from a variety of brands and JCPenney's private label.

JCPenney will also test new programs with Ashley Furniture and Empire Today carpets. The retailer will add Signature Design by Ashley to its furniture assortment in select stores and online by Memorial Day weekend, and will test flooring at locations in Tampa, Florida, and Washington, D.C. markets this summer.

Empire Today will occupy between 750 and 1,000 sq. ft. inside the JCPenney Home department, with responsibility for marketing, customer service and environment as an independent operator.

JCPenney will asses the program for possible expansion following the initial tests.

The Home department was negatively impacted during former CEO Ron Johnson's tenure as he reduced private label, expanded the selection of more modern and higher-priced merchandise and shifted from some core product categories including window treatments.

Growing home is consider key to growing JCPenney.

For more:
- see this JCPenney announcement

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