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JCPenney Unveils Latest Attempt at Rebranding


Continuing its push to become a "hip" place to shop, JCPenney reveals new plans to woo consumers.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Earlier this year, JCPenney (JCP) announced its third rebranding campaign. The company ditched its daily deals in favor of month-long promotions and dumped sales for overall lower prices. The brand also switched to new, "hipper" advertising. The resulting dive in stocks sent a pretty clear message: Customers weren't happy. (See: Dropping the Dime on JC Penney.)

Despite this initial response, JCPenney continues to reinvent its image.

Yesterday, the company revealed its newest initiative -- shops within shops. Stores will be divided into branded "boutiques," "shops," and "stores," in increasing order of size. Each space will be unique, featuring different decor and lighting fixtures based on the brand it features.

These changes are scheduled to roll out this August, just in time for back-to-school season. The first round will include shops for popular denim brands such as Levi Strauss & Co. The end vision is for each JCPenney store to be a composite of 100 branded shops and boutiques by 2014.

Another component of Penney's update will be the use of iPads (AAPL) for mobile checkout. In a recent conference, CEO Ron Johnson said he hopes to eliminate the need for cash registers by 2014 by supplying employees with iPads and other mobile checkout devices. Johnson is the former head of Apple Retail.

While consumers were initially wary of the company's changes, they appear to be warming up to the idea. Since the announcement, stocks have undergone a modest spike of as much as 1.00% (as of Wednesday morning).

(Editor's note: You might also enjoy Up-and-Coming Retailers: Where Are They Now? and A Closer Look at Kohl's.)
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