It’s been a remarkably tough year for J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), but the iconic retailer is not throwing in the towel.
The company is using the $248 million it raised from the sale of part of its stake in a unit of Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) to revamp its stores.
J.C. Penney chose its store located at the Manhattan Mall to reveal its new “in-store shops” concept. Right now, there are three in-store shops at the first location — Levi, Arizona and i jeans by Buffalo.
What’s an in-store shop? Good question.
The shops are segmented areas of the store devoted to a specific brand. The set up bears design similarities to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Stores. That’s not surprising since J.C. Penney’s head honcho Ron Johnson once ran Apple’s retail division.
Each in-store shop has at least one interactive element to draw-in customers. At the Levi store, for instance, consumers can talk with “fit specialists” near the shop’s “denim bar,” Ben Fay, executive vice president of real estate, store design and development, told Reuters. Women can also identify their “Curve ID” and use that information to select jeans based on their body type.
The in-shop stores will begin popping up at 683 other J.C. Penney locations starting August 1.