The nesting dolls of retail stores
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, JCPenney will add another mini-store inside of their retail locations. The company has announced a partnership with Nike, with plans to add the brand to hundreds of its stores. Mini Nike stores will launch in around 600 JCPenney stores around the country, so get excited?
After the success of test run in Portland, JCPenney moved forward with its plans. Fully 500 square sq. ft. within the men’s department will now feature Nike products in hundreds of stores.
This isn’t the first time JCPenney has utilized the nesting doll store approach to boost sales.
In 2015, JCPenney added Hallmark shops to 15 of its stores. Additionally, over half of its locations feature a Sephora since the initial 2006 partnership.
Oops I just do’d it again
The tactic is familiar, seen in other retail giants like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Best Buy. It was novel at first, but now the move feels more like a cry for help than anything. Sure, stores-within-stores have their success stories. JCPenney’s addition of Sephora helped bring in a new tide of customers who would have otherwise written the store off as somewhere only their moms shop. However, in spite of its commercial success as a standalone retailer, the Nike addition baffles me.
Right now, the Nike shops will only offer men’s clothing. As we’ve noted before, JCPenney is trying to get millennial male shoppers to save its brand. Adding Nike to the men’s department is too obvious of a ploy. I get what you’re doing JCPenney, but it’s sad.
Targeting shifting demographics
Instead of looking to improve the experience of its core demographic, JCPenney is seeking a different target. Sure, women and children’s styles are available online, but this seems nonsensical. If your main demographic is women, why not also nest a Nike shop in the women’s department? Women are buying fitness apparel at unprecedented rates.
It feels weird knowing a brand so badly wants your attention. Especially if it looks as if the company is specifically trying to change for or against you, not with you. I like you for you, JCPenney, not the person you’re pretending to be. Who knows, though? Maybe the company’s new partnership will be an overnight success, drawing in crowds of millennial male shoppers.
Or maybe JCPenney will continue to flounder and be forced back to the drawing board once more, to consider how to better engage the shoppers who already know and love the store.