Michelle Wlazlo, EVP, chief merchandising officer, JCPenney, joined the retailer just two years ago, bringing more than 30 years of experience from retailers such as Target and GAP, and in her short time is facing a transformational shift in the company’s owned brands program.
SB: How important are JCPenney’s owned brands to its strategy going forward as it faces a new chapter post-bankruptcy?
MW: Since emerging as a private company last December, our new ownership has been incredibly supportive of our efforts. They believe in our product assortment, brand strategies, and our dedicated customers. With 25 significant private brands in our merchandise portfolio, our private brands will continue to be a key driver of business.
SB: Can you give us a sneak peek at anything new for 2021?
MW: I am equally excited about JCPenney Beauty, our new, inclusive in-store and online beauty experience that was announced recently and will debut later this fall. Similar to our overall customer-centric business strategy with private brands, we’ve built the next generation of beauty at JCPenney with our customers in mind.
Building upon a legacy of serving millions of JCPenney Salon and beauty customers for more than five decades, customers can expect a one-stop-shop of mass, masstige, and prestige products in a bright, welcoming space. The assortment will include everything from makeup, skincare, fragrance, and responsibly sourced, conscious products to hair products and styling tools. We’re partnering with like-minded beauty brands, including Thirteen Lune. Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to highlight diverse beauty brands established by Black and Brown founders and allies. We can’t wait to introduce our customer to a new beauty experience that better serves their needs and celebrates their authentic beauty.