J.C. Penney Expanding its Nike Footprint in Stores

Athleisure-wear segment is hot in the retail sector, and J.C. Penney and Kohl's seek to profit from it.

Penney

The athletic leisure attire market is hot in the United States, and retailers such as Plano-based J.C. Penney and its competitor Kohl’s are giving the segment increasingly larger display in their stores.

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) is boosting its Nike presence and Kohl’s is preparing to add products from Baltimore-based Under Armour to its fitness and athletic wear sections, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Penney is carving out a 500-square-foot space in the men’s department to create Nike shops in 600 stores. The company has grown its Nike offerings into the children’s, women’s, and special sizes, the newspaper reported.

Athletic apparel is the fastest-growing section of the store, John Tighe, Penney’s chief merchant, told the DMN.

“Nike is not only the largest athletic apparel brand, it’s also the largest apparel brand in the world.”
John Tighe

“Nike is not only the largest athletic apparel brand, it’s also the largest apparel brand in the world,” he said.

Penney said it will feature Nike products throughout its marketing. The DMN said that online, the retailer will sell extended colors and sizes of Nike’s products, including big and tall sizes for its male customers.  

Penney’s expansion of its Nike offerings comes after CEO Marvin Ellison late last year outlined a three-year plan to bolster its performance as part of its turnaround by listening to its customers and rolling out products they want.

Among the plans outlined in the three-year initiative were returning appliances to J.C. Penney stores, expanding cosmetics brand Sephora in retail locations, and growing its omnichannel business, CNBC reported.

Wisconsin-based Kohl’s, which has a major retail, distribution, and corporate presence in North Texas, will make Under Armour one of its biggest launches in company history, according to the DMN.

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