J.C. Penney’s New Beauty Concept Is Giving Many Indie Brands Their First Shot At Retail
More than 170 beauty brands across the mass, prestige and masstige sectors will debut at 10 J.C. Penney in-store beauty shops and online on Tuesday in a rollout that will mark one of the more intriguing experiments in beauty retail.
Although the department store retailer’s relationship with e-tailer Thirteen Lune as part of its beauty reconstruction seemingly follows in the footsteps of Target and Kohl’s, which are heightening their beauty profiles via cross-retail partnerships with Ulta Beauty and Sephora, respectively, its beauty concept is exceptional for the number of indie brands it’s corralled. Many of the indie brands in J.C. Penney’s overhauled beauty selection have never been sold at a marquee retailer before.
The lineup is noticeably more diverse than competitors’ lineups. “We felt it was key to partner with like-minded brands and founders to help meet the wants and needs of our diverse customer base while championing diversity in beauty, ” says Michelle Wlazlo, EVP and chief merchandising officer at J.C. Penney. “It was important for us to not only provide discovery experiences for our customers, but to also give a platform for indie- and BIPOC-founded brands.”
J.C. Penney teamed up with Thirteen Lune and Landing International, a sales and marketing platform, to assist with bringing in 50-plus mostly BIPOC-owned brands. The retailer’s product array spans haircare, skincare, makeup, styling tools, fragrance, nail care, bath and body. Nearly half of the assortment falls into the masstige category. According to a statement from J.C. Penney, the masstige category is “fueling the most innovation, growth, and experimentation.”
To identify brands for J.C. Penney, Sarah Chung, CEO and founder of Landing International, examined ingredients, product types and trends to ensure the retailer provides a complete beauty picture and satisfies a varied beauty audience. “For example, we knew we needed an acne pimple patch, we needed a vitamin C line, we needed an SPF line, etc.,” she says. “We also looked for brands with strong brand identities that would stand out on a shelf and with comprehensive assortments.”
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