J.C. Penney is the latest retailer to realize the value of the curbside pickup.
On Monday, the department store chain said it will expand curbside pickup services to 50 additional locations across the U.S., following a “successful pilot” that began in November at JCP’s new concept store outside Dallas. To retrieve their orders, shoppers drive to a pickup spot reserved for the service and call or text a number posted on the parking signage. After customers provide their parking spot and order number, a store associate will deliver their order to their vehicles.
Customers using the new program select either no-cost same-day pickup or ship-to-store when checking out online, which gives shoppers greater flexibility and convenience.
“Style on the Go Curbside Pickup is all about our customers and how they want to shop. As we continue to put our customers at the heart of everything we do, we continue to create engaging experiences across all touchpoints,” Jim DePaul, Penney’s executive vice president of stores, said. “Whether they’re shopping online at our flagship store, jcp.com, or through our app, we’re helping our customers live life their way through this convenient service.”
Select stores in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia will offer the service.
In the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, JCP CEO Jill Soltau noted how “deep research and data” informed the struggling retailer’s “plan for renewal.”
“To rebuild the fundamentals of our business, we are making improvements ranging from our core store processes to our integrated digital strategy….” Soltau said.
Because customers responded “so positively” to the convenience of curbside delivery, Soltau said, Penney’s decided to quickly expand the service. Plus, the brand-defining Texas store is helping JCP measure “over 100 test points in this lab store to inform our future actions as we put the customer at the heart of everything we do,” she added.
The women’s apparel category in general saw sequential improvement from the third to the fourth quarter, with positive comps in dresses and in broad assortments in sportswear, according to Soltau. Penney’s performance active business drove double-digit comps in women’s, men’s and kids apparel.