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JCPenney announced that it has a new initiative to bring toy shops to all of its retail stores.
In an effort to not be as dependent on apparel to drive its business, JCPenney announced an initiative to bring toy shops to its retail stores.
The toy industry is a $26 billion per year opportunity that JCPenney is looking to capitalize on and better serve its customer base.
US toy industry sales grew by five percent in 2016 while they increased by seven percent in 2015. This year, The NPD Group reported that mid-year through 2017, worldwide sales have grown a modest three percent with an estimated yearly growth of four percent. In contrast, apparel sales have yielded lukewarm results across the industry. So this is JCPenney’s attempt to rejuvenate the business by thinking outside the box.
Some retailers like Best Buy have even gone as far as renting out retail space within their stores. So you would have a retailer within a retailer concept. These Toy Shops will however be owned and operated by JCPenney personnel.
Sales for JCPenney have declined by 3.5 percent for the first quarter of 2017 and analysts believe that this toy strategy could actually help them recover and get back on a more positive track.
So the next time you walk into a JCPenney – don’t be surprised if you see Barbie, Hatchimals, or Star Wars lightsabers. They will carry the major toy brands, including Hasbro and Mattel plus Melissa & Doug. Also, JCPenney plans to integrate small play areas within their retail stores so the kids can play while the parents shop until they drop.
In fact, last Christmas season, JCPenney briefly introduced toys just for the holidays to test how consumers would respond. Based on that test, it must have helped make their final decision to bring toys back into the equation.
JCPenney also announced that in addition to its retail toy initiatives, it will also offer toys online on its e-commerce site. Larger items like bikes and trampolines will be able to be purchased by consumers online.
So what do you think about JCPenney getting into the toy game? Does it make sense for an apparel company to go into toys? Do you think they can succeed in the world of toys? Do you love the convenience factor of shopping for apparel and toys for the kids in one stop? Let us know what you think in the comments below.