As the beauty category continues to evolve and grow outside of its typical bounds controlled by retailers such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty, as well as mass merchants and drugstores, brands that were once deemed “challenger” brands (think Glossier or Fenty Beauty) have become household names. And while cosmetics and personal care have particularly seen growth online, brands and retailers are also increasingly tapping into in-store experiences, both permanent and temporary, to connect with new shoppers.
After Sephora ditched its store-within-a-store partnership with JCPenney for Kohl’s, JCPenney developed its own in-store and online beauty concept, focused in part on inclusivity and elevating diverse founders and brands. JCPenney joined forces with Thirteen Lune (an inclusive e-commerce site founded by Nyakio Grieco, a beauty entrepreneur and founder of Nyakio Beauty) and Patrick Herning (the founder of 11 Honore, a luxury plus-size fashion label) to help bring a unique experience to its stores. For Thirteen Lune, this collaboration marked its first brick-and-mortar retail venture.
JCPenney Beauty, which is available at 10 stores with more rollouts planned in 2023, offers more than 170 brands, 39 of which are from Thirteen Lune, including Buttah Skin, Bossy Cosmetics and Wander Beauty. The store experience features in-line and illuminated displays.
In addition to indie and BIPOC-founded brands, the curated assortment spans makeup, skincare, haircare, styling tools, fragrance, nailcare, and bath and body products at varying price points. Henkel’s Better Natured at-home hair color line, for example, recently made its U.S. brick-and-mortar debut at JCPenney Beauty stores, along with trained in-store beauty experts available to help shoppers select the right Better Natured hair color shade and answer questions. Perfect Corp. technology is also available in-store, allowing shoppers to virtually try on colors before buying.
“Rooted in inclusivity, JCPenney Beauty grew out of direct feedback from our customers,” said Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, in a news release. “Together with our brand partners, we have reimagined every aspect of our beauty experience — from the highly curated assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty program and all-new e-commerce experience. We are incredibly proud to bring JCPenney Beauty to life in stores and online.”