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Calling in the Mouse

JCPenney looks for a little magic from Disney

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JCPenney and Disney are hoping to brew up some retail magic. The department store retailer – on a quest to transform its image and shopping experience – will open Disney Children’s boutiques in more than 500 stores in fall 2013, Women’s Wear Daily reports.

The shops, ranging in size from 750 to 1100 square feet, will carry exclusive Disney-branded products and interactive elements, including a video wall for showing Disney trailers, cartoons and short films. Liz Sweney, JCPenney’s chief merchant told WWD that the merchandise and experience will be unique to the department store retailer.

But will it be the magic formula the department store retailer needs to draw customers inside its stores?

Starting in August, JCPenney has been unveiling its new format, shop by shop, starting with branded spaces for Levi Strauss & Co., Original Arizona Jean Co. and i jeans by Buffalo. Several more hard shops made their debut in early September, including Liz Claiborne and Izod. By the end of 2013, Penney’s says it will have 40 unique shops on its selling floors with the goal to have 100 shop-in-shops when it’s all said and done. Ceo Ron Johnson says the spaces bring customers a dynamic new shopping environment and a new way to shop JCPenney.

It’s too early to tell if customers are taking the bait, but the department store retailer’s sales have been in a slump for months. Maybe it’s the fact that after unveiling an exciting new logo and branding strategy in early 2012, customers (and our industry at large) had to wait months to see its effect on store interiors. By then, much of the excitement and anticipation had faded. Certainly, a little magic from Mickey and his friends can’t hurt.

 

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