JC Penney will exit the major appliances category and shift gears to focus on soft textiles such as apparel and home furnishings, which are expected to represent higher margin opportunities.
The retailer is finalizing new layout options, including the reduction of store space previously dedicated to appliance and furniture showrooms to maximize efficiencies. It also wants to create an enhanced shopping experience that inspires repeat shopping trips. The assumption is that apparel is the answer to get consumers to return to the store on a regular basis.
The major appliance category will remain in the stores and online through February 28, while the furniture category will still be available online and at select stores. The major appliance category isn’t exactly high margin. Once consumers make a major purchase, they won’t need to make another replacement purchase for at least another five years.
JC Penney used to be the place where middle-income consumers went to for apparel and soft home goods but the retailer then threw out many of the private label brands that JC Penney customers relied on. They showed their displeasure by going elsewhere to do their shopping.
Exclusive private label brands in apparel for women’s, men’s and children’s were always a staple at JC Penney.