J.C. Penney has teamed with Nike to give its shoppers a new way to answer the call: Just do it.
The department store chain pumps up its athletic offering with Nike shops inside more than 600 J.C. Penney locations, creating a destination for active shoppers.
J.C. Penney’s recent holiday sales update read like many of its competitors’. The retailer said comp store sales declined 0.8% for the nine weeks ending Dec. 31, compared to the previous year. Women’s apparel continued to be a hurdle, while online sales growth showed double digit gains. The retailer, which struggled in the first three weeks, regained some momentum in part due to its Sephora, shop-in-shops. No doubt J.C. Penney intends for the new Nike shops to be a similar bright spot in the weeks ahead.
“Nike is immensely popular across all categories and with the rapid rise of activewear and athletic shoes, we want to have the best expression of Nike in any department store,” said John Tighe, chief merchant for J.C. Penney. “J.C. Penney is an activewear destination, and by partnering with a perception-shifting national brand like Nike, we can deliver both the performance and athleisure products that customers want. Shoppers browsing our new Nike environments will be both inspired and motivated to take their athletic wardrobe to the next level.”
Located in the men’s department, the 500-square-foot spaces will feature bold graphics as well as inspiring images of athletes at work. Shoppers will be able to quickly identify their chosen product category thanks to signage that will direct them to the gear for their chosen sport. Women and kids can also get in on the act with similar merchandising in their departments in select stores.
An expanded product assortment will feature performance-oriented apparel and accessories such as Dri-FIT base layers, mesh shorts, jogger pants, moisture-wicking compression tees and breathable hoodies as well as water bottles, gym socks and sweat bands.
The shops are located next to the men’s shoe department, and in 100 locations, the visuals will extend into that area as well for a seamless shopping experience. More than 50 shoe styles spanning sports activities are on offer with more due in this spring.
Online consumers can shop even more styles at JCP.com and through the store’s The Sports Fan Shop portal for Nike gear reflecting their favorite college, NFL, MLB and soccer teams.