JCPenney Testing Appliance Sales By Creating An “Emotional Connection” With Women

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.19.54 AMNearly 30 years after JCPenney discontinued selling ovens, refrigerators, washers, and the like, the retailer is once again dipping its toes into the appliance business, this time with a focus on targeting female shoppers. 

JCPenney announced Tuesday that it will start selling kitchen and laundry appliances in 22 pilot stores in San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa starting Feb. 1.

Under the program, each of the participating stores will feature 90 to 150 appliance models in a dedicated showroom that features “lifestyle vignettes” that will increase the “shopping appeal among women.”

The retailer’s foray into the appliance market comes after customer data showed that the vast majority of shoppers own a home and are frequently searching for major appliance options on the company’s website.

Additionally, JCPenney decided to focus on women shoppers because research found they were the “key decision maker in the appliance purchase process.”

“Recognizing that over 70% of our shoppers are women, we’re going to improve the way customers shop for appliances by building an emotional connection with the female shopper who already trusts JCPenney to furnish her home and wardrobe,” Marvin Ellison, JCPenney CEO, said in a statement.

The company will monitor the pilot program over the next several months, but it already has plans to expand its appliance offering to its online platform starting this spring.