National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

J.C. Penney expands into Brooklyn, adds new features

By Brecken Branstrator

August 06, 2014

New York--In a sign of continued confidence for the company’s turnaround, J.C. Penney announced Tuesday that it would open its first Brooklyn store ever, revamping the fine jewelry and watch departments while it adds other unique features. 

According to the company, the new store will be located in phase two of the New York City borough’s Gateway Center, offering the company’s usual collection of brands as well as design elements and features that will be unique to the Brooklyn location.

The single-level, 124,000-square-foot store location not only expands the company’s footprint in New York City, but also “signifies another milestone in J.C. Penney’s turnaround,” CEO Myron Ullman III said in a company statement, focusing on store growth in high-potential markets.

The exterior of the store incorporates clean lines, large glass panels, red accents and the signature J.C. Penney logo to create a contemporary look. The company has created a store environment that’s “distinctly J.C. Penney, yet uniquely Brooklyn,” including large murals of Brooklyn landmarks, polished concrete floors and sleek finishing touches.

The Brooklyn store will revamp its fine jewelry and watch departments, including a redesigned Modern Bride fine jewelry department using gray tile, special wall coverings, and sleek cases featuring bright LED lights to create a unique shopping experience for diamonds and gemstones, the company said.

The department also will include a new watch experience to make the process of shopping for a timepiece more engaging. The design feature, which also was installed at the newly renovated J.C. Penney in the Bronx, has multiple standalone cases with LED lighting, allowing shoppers to compare and shop watches in a way that hasn’t been available at J.C. Penney previously.

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The company will hold a number of grand opening events in Brooklyn this month, including the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 29.

Many features of the Brooklyn store will be rolled out across other J.C. Penney stores, a company spokesperson told National Jeweler, though an expansion timeline is not yet available. There are currently no plans for additional stores in New York at this time, J.C. Penney said.

The news, along with the recent announcement that the company secured a $2.35 billion credit facility, has suggested some confidence in the turnaround of J.C. Penney as it continues to stabilize with same-store sales and total sales on the rise in recent months.