JCPenney Adding Nike Stores Inside 600 Locations

In their attempts to draw in customers and become more of a one-stop-shop, struggling department stores across the country have entered into partnerships to host store-within-a-store concepts: from Macy’s LensCrafters shops to Best Buy’s Verizon and AT&T “experience stores.” Now, JCPenney is jumping into the fray, launching Nike stores in 600 of its locations around the country. 

JCPenney announced Tuesday that it had partnered with Nike to open hundreds of the 500-square-foot stores inside its men’s department, housing Nike apparel and accessories geared toward basketball, training, running, and other activities.

The companies piloted the idea at a store in Portland, OR, using an assortment of Nike signage and dedicated areas for each activity’s goods. In addition to opening the stores-within-a-store, JCPenney says that it will situate its mens’ Nike athletic shoes adjacent to the shops.

This isn’t JCPenney’s first attempt to reach more customers through other brands. Earlier this year, the retailer launched a new plus-size line inside dedicated, so-called “boutique” sections of its department stores. In 2015, the company launched a pilot program adding mini-Hallmark shops inside 15 of its stores. 

JCPenney isn’t alone in its pursuit of attracting customers and trying to boost sales by highlighting other brands or retailers inside its department stores.

Three years ago, Best Buy opened a slew of Samsung Experience shops in stores around the country. Earlier this year, the retailer said it would close 160 of those stores, while expanding 250 others.

The electronics store also began housing 250 Verizon and AT&T “experience stores” inside its location in 2015.

Macy’s has also tried its hand at the in-store retailer concept, announcing plans last year to open 280 LensCrafter stores by the end of 2017. Before that, the company teamed up with Best Buy and Sunglass Hut for in-store shops.