JCPenney rolling out new prototype in Duluth

Not sure how many people out there have noticed the white tarps hanging from the ceiling in the JCPenney store in Duluth quarantining off sections of the store? But if you have, you've noticed they are doing a little bit of a remodel. Well, that little remodel is actually quite a substantial one. And yes, Duluth's JCPenney will be receiving the entire retro fit.

So what's exactly happening? JCPenney's one large store will soon become 100 smaller stores with in store, or as some like to refer to it, a "mall". Work on the first three was completed a few weeks ago. The three new boutiques include a Levi Shop, Arizona Jeans Shop, and I Jeans by Buffalo. So why the shop design? JCPenney was struggling a bit, even after they tried to rebrand with a new logo and sale plan last spring, with the competition from other retailers and the fact that Americans in general were just losing interest in their store. So what did they do to gain a new image and put them on the path of achieving their goal of becoming "America's Favorite Store." They decided to specialize their store and offer experiences that would draw customers in.

The new shops come in three styles; A store (1,400 sqf) which usually showcases a larger brand and is usually paid for by the brand, a  shop (750 sqf), and a boutique (under 750 sqf). These new shops do not have doors and our open to the general shopper as they please. It's more a designation of space that is happening. JCPenney basically is taking the brands they see promise in and putting them in the spot light. The new spaces are quite nice actually. The Levi's space for instance features special lighting, wood display cases and tables, a "Jean Bar," and even iPads to help you out in deciphering what the style of best fit may be or allowing you to order a product online. It's quite a nice setting. The next three shops to debut will be Liz Claiborne, IZOD, and JCP Men's and Women's collections and it was just announced that Disney will opening up 1,500 sqf stores within JCPenney in the fall.

I think this transformation will really do quite a bit for JCPenney and especially the Duluth location. It will give them a fresh look that will draw curious shoppers in to see the "new" JCPenney. Hopefully they will revitalize the exterior of the building too, but for the moment all we can do is cross our fingers. JCPenney plans to have all of their locations converted by 2015. The renovation for Duluth's store will likely be spread out over the course of a year or two.

Just wanted to let you know what was happening. That's all for now!

Below I've included some pictures of what these shops look like across the country at various JCPenney locations.

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