After a successful pilot in three markets that began in January, J.C. Penney said that later this year it will expand appliance sales to 500 stores, out of 1,100 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This pits the company head-to-head with major appliance retailers including Best Buy, Sears, Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Upping its home goods game, J.C. Penney also plans to allocate another 25% of floor space to displays of window treatments and decorative hardware in the same stores offering appliances. Brands it will sell include JCPenney Home, Royal Velvet, Liz Claiborne and Studio, along with Bali, Levolor and Umbra. The company is looking to regain its dominant position in the category, where it at one time provided an estimated one-third of U.S. window coverings.
“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,” said J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison in a release. “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.”
J.C. Penney also said it exceeded its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) projections for the first quarter ended April 30, and that it expects full-year EBITDA of $1 billion. The company will report its earnings on Friday, May 13. A report in the New York Post said J.C. Penney, seeing April sales numbers falling below projections, slashed operating expenses, including payroll and overtime, to meet its Q1 income numbers. The warmer winter was especially tough across the board on apparel-heavy retailers.
Starting in early July through the fall, J.C. Penney will introduce major appliances to stores every week, from major brands including Samsung, LG, GE Appliances and Hotpoint. The appliances will be available on jcp.com this summer.