Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Penney pinching in Manhattan
Check Out J.C. Penney’s new store in Manhattan.
On July 31, J.C. Penney will open its first Manhattan store in the midtown area, promising to deliver trendy yet affordable items for New York’s notoriously savvy shoppers.
Penney is taking direct aim at rival Macy’s, whose flagship Herald Square store is a block away.
In fact, the department store chain, which signed the lease for the space in December 2007 just as the U.S. slipped into recession, hopes the store will give its sales a much-needed boost and help it snag some of the city’s higher-income shoppers, just when they may need it most.
“I think they will be glad to save some money too, don’t you, especially if they are bankers?” Penney District Manager Pete Sadler said during a walk-through of the store ahead of its opening later this month.
The store, located inside the Manhattan Mall at 34th Street, occupies a space that once included a food court.
The 153,000 square foot store is smaller than some other J.C. Penney stores and stocks merchandise ranging from women’s clothing and accessories to home goods. It has a Sephora makeup boutique, and fine jewelry store and will even deliver to people’s homes for a $15 charge.
Texas-based Penney is using the store opening to launch two exclusive brands — Joe by designer Joseph Abboud and Cindy Crawford Style home goods — as it tries to draw shoppers with the promise of affordable but special merchandise.
But even before the launch, the Joseph Abboud line was already on sale. Sadler was unsure why, but speculated that it could be in keeping with a storewide discount drive.
An opening event on July 31 will feature an appearance by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, fashion events and prize giveaways, Sadler said.
But for consumers who are not penny pinching that much, Nordstrom is planning to open its first Nordstrom Rack store in Manhattan’s Union Square next year.
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