By Bob Johns
The partnership is just the beginning of a rethinking of the entire kids and baby department.
JCPenney’s (JCP) store-in-a-store concept continues to take shape with the launch of Disney Shops within 565 locations. The timing could not be better for JCP, as the crucial holiday shopping season quickly approaches, and children are a huge driver for sales. Disney merchandise has always been a huge seller at the holidays, and now JCP is positioned to capitalize on the holiday rush.
The Disney Shop inside JCP is not going to just be your average Disney merchandising section. The space will feature toys, collectibles, and children’s apparel specifically designed for the JCP showcase. Some of the beloved Disney characters featured will be from Monsters University, which grossed over $730 million this past summer, Toy Story, Tangled, and Disney Junior TV shows. In fact, to coincide with the DVD release of Monsters University on October 29, Disney Shops inside JCPenney will debut with a wide assortment of Monsters University products, including a life-size plush of monster Mike Wazowski. In order to keep the merchandise fresh, as new movies are released, the Disney Shop inside JCPenney, will be continually updated with new merchandise featuring characters from Disney’s beloved animated feature films. The shops will not be restricted to brick-and-mortar stores, having already launched on jcp.com on September 6.
For JCP, the partnership is a natural fit. “The idea of creating a Disney Shop inside JCPenney is truly a fairytale come true. Disney is such a fun, imaginative brand with inspiring products that appeal to the young and the young at heart,” said Betsy Schumacher, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for children’s at JCP. “The addition of Disney Shops to JCPenney will be a major draw in our kids department, offering customers an entirely new selection of high quality gifts just in time for the holiday season.” The shops will range between 800 - 1,100 square feet and feature Disney-themed plush toys, dolls, figurine sets, sleepwear, role-play, and fashion apparel for kids sizes 2 - 10. According to the JCP website, prices will range from $7 for a mini plush toy, $15 for a pajama set to $90 for a keepsake collection of nine Disney Princess dolls. The pricing scheme seems to fall in line with JCP’s current pricing strategy, rather than the everyday low pricing strategy favored by former CEO Ron Johnson.
The entire strategy for the kids and baby departments is undergoing a makeover. The Disney Shops are a first step, but the company is also introducing giggleBABY, Wendy Bellissimo, baker by Ted Baker, Sally M by Sally Miller and Flowers by Zoe by Kourageous Kids in select stores and on jcp.com. "Customers shopping our children's department today will discover a whole new world for kids that includes a wider selection of baby products and gifts, as well as a great assortment of stylish kids apparel from some of the world's most respected brands and designers," said Schumacher. "The addition of these partners means that we're not only elevating our quality and value proposition, we're further positioning JCPenney as the best place to shop for kids."