As JCPenney ends its partnership with Sephora, the retailer is launching its new beauty section this fall with new partners and a wide range of independent and inclusive brands.
On Thursday, the retailer will announce that more than 170 brands will be included in JCPenney Beauty, its new in-store and online beauty section that will officially launch in October at 10 select stores and online. To organize part of its selection of brands, JCPenney relied on the B2B beauty market International landing and inclusive beauty e-merchant Thirteen Lune. JCPenney Beauty is expected to roll out to 600 stores by 2023, after its Sephora partnership ends in 2022.
Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, described the new offering as “hyper-inclusive.” It will include brands of mass, masstige and prestige. According to a spokesperson for JCPenney, “almost half” of the brands stored will be in the masstige category.
“Our client told us they wanted a larger assortment of brands at different prices, and to better meet those needs, we created JCPenney Beauty, ”said the spokesperson.
As Sephora locations are phased out, the retailer is renovating its beauty spaces with an open floor plan and natural wood. Thirteen Lune will have a branded shop-in-shop section. The 10 stores that will be open in October are based in Davenport, Florida; Dearborn, MI; Greenville, North Carolina; McAllen, Texas; Mesquite, Texas; Niles, OH; Springfield, Missouri; Saint-Cloud, Minnesota; Trumbull, CT and Whittier, California.
The retailer worked with Landing International to organize a group of 17 independent, minority-owned platform brands to sell as part of the lineup. The group includes brands from Landing International’s BIPOC list of brands, including Kmoni Cosmetics and Everyday Humans. The platform’s selection includes several K-beauty brands such as Cosrx and Hanskin.
“We looked at probably over 100 brands with them, and we really picked the ones that were unique and different,” said Sarah Chung, CEO of Landing International.
Thirteen Lune, meanwhile, organized a bundle of 28 brands for JCPenney which are also available on its own site. They include Wander Beauty, which is also stocked at Sephora, as well as other independent brands such as Shaz & Kiks, Joanna Vargas, Anové and Pholk.
Pholk, a skincare brand focused on consumers with melanin-rich skin or those who are vegan / plant-based, is targeting millennials with this launch.
“Growing up in Kentucky, I always went shopping at JCPenny with my mom and friends. The company provided the beauty and wellness experience that I wanted from every store offered at the time, ”said Niambi Cacchioli, founder of Pholk.
“As a small black-owned business, the fact that we have the opportunity to launch with JCPenny and Thirteen Moon is exciting as the focus on inclusiveness is directly linked to our brand values,” said Evonna Kuehner, founder of Anové skincare brand.
JCPenney’s in-house team curated the rest of the brand list, which includes JCPenney Mirabella and Makeup Geek’s exclusive brands, as well as I’m Meme, Nooni, Kleem Organics, and Better Natured Haircare.
Expansion into these retailers brings the ‘opportunity for scale, growth and profitability, while also bringing so much recognition. [to] and amplify those brands we partner with, ”said Nyakio Grieco, Founder and CEO of Thirteen Lune.
For Thirteen Moon, the partnership is “a game changer, when you think of going from a platform that works and performs above our expectations to now this omnichannel experience where we’re going to have a 600 door footprint,” said declared Grieco.
JCPenney settled a legal dispute with Sephora in May 2020 after the department store accused Sephora of trying to prematurely terminate its long-term contract. After both parties renegotiated, Sephora announced its new partnership with Kohl’s in December 2020.
“Sephora inside JCPenney will continue to operate both in-store and online throughout the transition to our new Beauty experience. We are committed to the current partnership, which will expire at the end of 2022, ”said a spokesperson for JCPenney.
The new JCPenney offering provides a new department store opportunity for independent brands leaving Kohl’s due to its new partnership with Sephora. Kmoni Cosmetics, for example, was previously stored at Kohl’s via Landing International before Sephora took over the retailer’s beauty section.
“When you work with independent brands, you bring different kinds of things,” Chung said. “There is more innovation when you bring in independent brands, [and] you get products that target people of color more.
Below is the full list of Thirteen Lune brands entering JCPenney Beauty:
Shaz & Kiks
The brands selected via Landing International are:
Organic skin care