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Salon, Sephora key to sales surge at JCPenney

JCPenney has high hopes for the holidays, following a 1.7 percent increase in third-quarter same-store sales that surprised analysts and executives. CEO Marvin Ellison credited two factors for helping drive the increase: beauty and jewelry. The retailer plans to play off that popularity with a holiday campaign that encourages cross-shopping between the store’s in-house salon, Sephora and apparel departments.

“Our focus on beauty is continuing to resonate with our customers,” Ellison said on an earnings call with investors. “Sephora delivered strong positive comp sales for the third quarter.” Penney opened 38 in-store Sephora boutiques during the quarter. About 75 percent of Penney stores (642) now contain a Sephora boutique, he said.

“Our salon business had another outstanding quarter with our continued investment to rebrand existing JCPenney salons to The Salon by InStyle,” Ellison said.

More customers are coming to Penney for a hair appointment or to buy makeup from Sephora, and they are also picking up other items as they do, he said. So the retailer is adding edgier women’s apparel and accessories to cater to Sephora customers who may otherwise shop for apparel elsewhere, he said.

“We had a strong third quarter of positive comps from fine jewelry, and we expect to see this trend continue during the holiday season,” Ellison said. “JCPenney is the only retailer that can offer a combination of Sephora, salon and fine jewelry under the same roof — and this unique beauty experience cannot be replicated online and magnifies the importance and the relevance of our physical stores.” 

By Brannon Boswell

Managing Editor/SCT

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