16676 Fri, 07/31/2009 - 12:13pm
NEW YORK–In the 107 year history of J.C. Penney it has done practically everything in retailing ... everything that is except for one thing: have a store in Manhattan.
That all changed this morning when the $18.5 billion company had the official grand opening of its first store in the middle of the nation’s largest city. The 153,000-square-foot unit occupies the bottom two levels of the Manhattan Mall, one block away from the city’s largest retailer, Macy’s. With an opening ceremony hosted by Mike Ullman, J.C. Penney chief executive officer, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the store officially debuted, though it has been open to the public on a soft opening basis for over a week.
Home, located on the lower of the two levels—both underground but accessed from the main floor—features a somewhat edited assortment, with a focus on home textiles and housewares. Eliminated due to space restrictions were the furniture and home decor departments, while other areas had assortments tailored to the location.
In textiles, Penney’s heavy hitter line-up of brands—American Living, Cindy Crawford and Chris Madden—was prominently displayed along a central corridor that led to an abridged window covering department.
In housewares, brands on display include Paula Deen and the store’s own Cooks label.
Jeff Allison, vice president for home, said fixtures were created especially for this location, including lower profile bedding modules and end-cap “pads” that allow for extra on-floor inventory and also make for a dramatic visual display.
Penney, which also opened four new stores around the country today, has locations in the other boroughs of New York but this Manhattan unit marks the return of the company to Manhattan where it had its corporate offices from 1914 to 1988 before moving to Plano, Tex.