J.C. Penney is expanding its home business by incorporating an appliance showroom in nearly 500 stores and online at jcp.com. The move is a reaction to investments in new and existing homes reaching record levels.
The decision is driven by a successful three-market pilot that validated Penney’s return to the appliance industry. The retailer looks to bring the company back to its former leadership position in window coverings by allocating another 25 percent of floor space to an enhanced presentation of ready-made curtains, blinds, shades and decorative hardware.
The company also said it exceeded its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization expectations for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 and that it continues to expect to achieve full-year EBITDA guidance of $1 billion. Penney’s will report its first-quarter results Friday.
“We are taking steps to grow our business by introducing new brands, products and categories where our customers have shown us that there is a clear demand. Since launching major appliances in 22 stores last February, the response has been outstanding. The pilot confirmed that we should not limit our business to apparel and soft home in order to achieve significant revenue growth,” said Marvin R. Ellison, chief executive officer for Penney’s. “Additionally, we are pleased with our EBITDA performance in the first quarter, and remain on track in reaching our 2016 EBITDA objectives.”
Starting in early July through the fall, Penney’s will introduce major appliances to new stores every week until nearly half of its locations have the selection of kitchen and laundry appliances from Samsung, LG, GE Appliances and Hotpoint. Customers can also buy major appliances on jcp.com later this summer.
Window treatments will include those from J.C. Penney Home, Royal Velvet, Liz Claiborne and Studio, along with Bali, Levolor and Umbra. At one point, Penney’s had the distinction of covering one-third of the windows in America. The company will also test new initiatives with Ashley Furniture and Empire Today, a national leader in the installed carpet and flooring industry.
“The current housing market presents a lucrative opportunity to diversify our Home assortment and strategically align with consumer spending patterns. By combining our soft home and window coverings merchandise with the industry’s leading brands for appliances, furniture and flooring, J.C. Penney will become a destination for home design and redecorating, allowing us to weather-proof our business during seasonal periods of the year,” said Ellison.
By expanding appliances and the window presentation in approximately 500 stores, along with testing new partnerships, Penney’s looks to drive increased sales and make progress towards its goal of achieving $1.2 billion in EBITDA by the end of 2017.