JCPenney's Home Renovation

JCPenney is betting the store on design in an effort to reverse the fortunes of its home department, which has struggled in recent years.

Its strategy lies in a series of new store-within-a-store concepts, designed in partnership with well-known names like Michael Graves, Jonathan Adler and Martha Stewart, and rolled out to 500 locations earlier this year.

Each 300-800 square foot “attraction” is dedicated to a specific home brand and reflects the style and personality of the brands’ founders, from the pragmatic minimalism of Design by Conran (created by legendary British designer Sir Terence Conran) to the friendly and organic aesthetic of Michael Graves Design.

“I think shoppers can have a lot of fun going from our shop to Jonathan Adler’s to Terence Conran’s to the kitchen gadgets area,” says Graves. “We want to convey to JCPenney customers a shopping experience that is aspirational but attainable.”

Each of the attractions reside on a widened and polished concrete aisle, making it easy to navigate the department, which may feature up to 20 separate shops. “We’ve never had this many attractions or had this space commitment [to the home department],” CEO Mike Ullman said earlier this year. “So we’re optimistic.”