Changes abound as JCPenney and cosmetics products B2B marketplace Landing International go live in efforts to consolidate the department store’s "beauty" branding channels to offer customers under-the-radar brands online and in store. The launch comes after JCPenney ended a merchandising agreement with cosmetics products merchant and brand Sephora, emerged from bankruptcy, and made its latest CEO appointment.

JCPenney has joined with Landing International, a B2B online marketplace for the cosmetics products industry, to provide a one-stop shop for beauty brands looking to break into large-scale retailers. Landing International gives smaller beauty brands access to largescale retail integrations and consolidates sourcing and logistics. Instead of working with multiple beauty manufacturers, JCPenney works directly with Landing International to meet its assortment planning, inventory planning and training needs.

One of my personal pet peeves when beauty shopping is walking into a store only to find that the retailer doesn’t carry the specific brand I was searching for.
Destiny Villarreal, divisional merchandise manager
JCPenney Beauty

“This is also beneficial for [beauty] brands that operate small teams or have limited bandwidth,” says Destiny Villarreal, divisional merchandise manager at JCPenney Beauty. Landing International’s portal, she adds, “acts as a playground where retailers can not only easily explore new brands, but easily connect with them as well.”

Villarreal says Landing’s one-stop system makes it easy for JCPenney Beauty to log onto Landing’s portal to place orders digitally. The retailer can also receive notifications and view shipment information, including tracking details, and analyze data to determine what inventory to restock. In addition, JCPenney’s in-store sales associates will use Landing’s online training tool for advice on how to sell new brands sourced through Landing. The arrangement with Landing International comes several months after cosmetics products retailer and brand Sephora terminated its store-within-a-store agreement with JCPenney and moved to rival Kohl’s Corp. late last year.

JCPenney launched the indie beauty brands store inside 10 pilot JCPenney locations across the United States and online at its ecommerce site, jcp.com. The launch also gives shoppers a wider price point range.

Destiny Villarreal, divisional merchandise manager at JCPenney Beauty

Destiny Villarreal, divisional merchandise manager at JCPenney Beauty

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Landing lets brands upload up to 20 products on its online platform and accept orders from customers for no annual fee; it charges these brands a 10% commission on sales. Brands have the option to pay a $2,000 annual fee to upload an unlimited number of products and pay a 5% commission on sales. Landing charges no fees to retailers who use its platform to buy from brands.

Consistency across channels

The department store’s ecommerce strategy includes offering customers the same products in store as online. JCPenney worked with Landing to identify brands that suited its diverse customer demographics and focused on creating a consistent shopping experience across product categories and assortments from online to in store.

“One of my personal pet peeves when beauty shopping is walking into a store only to find that the retailer doesn’t carry the specific brand I was searching for at all locations” or online, Villarreal says. “It was important to us that JCPenney Beauty provide dependable service and a comprehensive assortment available across store locations and channels.”

Sephora’s products will continue to be available at JCPenney stores and online (as well as Landing International-sourced brands for JCPenney Beauty) through late 2022. Sephora and JCPenney Beauty are listed as separate categories under JCPenney’s beauty options header when shopping online.

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JCPenney continues to revamp its digital prowess after working its way back from bankruptcy in 2020. It sold its retail and operating assets in December 2020 to Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management in a deal valued at $800 million, which allowed it to keep 650 of its 850 locations open. On Oct. 25, 2021, JCPenney announced that Marc Rosen will become CEO effective Nov. 1.

Rosen’s “significant ecommerce and retail experience with companies like Levi’s and Walmart makes him the perfect fit to lead the next chapter of the company’s transformation as we work to better serve our customers,” said Stanley Shashoua, chief investment officer in a company statement.

Landing International has helped JCPenney offer smaller brands that might not otherwise have popped up on its radar, the retailer says. The department store retailer also continues to search other digital channels to source brands for its customers.

“From industry events, brand fairs, digital forums, to social media exploration, there is no shortage of brands to prospect,” Villarreal says. “The beauty of doing business in this digital age is that we have a plethora of information at our fingertips.”

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