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How JCPenney is filling the Sephora gap


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As JCPenney winds down its partnership with Sephora, the retailer is launching its new beauty section this fall with partners and a wide range of indie and inclusive brands.

On Thursday, the retailer will announce that over 170 brands will be included in JCPenney Beauty, its new in-store and online beauty shopping section that officially launches in October in 10 select stores and online. To curate a portion of its brand selection, JCPenney relied on B2B beauty marketplace Landing International and inclusive beauty e-tailer Thirteen Lune. JCPenney Beauty is expected to be rolled out into all 600 stores by 2023, after its Sephora partnership ends in 2022.

Michelle Wlazlo, the evp and chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, described the new offering as “hyper-inclusive.” It will include mass, masstige and prestige brands. According to a JCPenney spokesperson, “nearly half” of the brands stocked will be in the masstige category.

“Our customer told us they wanted a broader assortment of brands at different price points, and to better meet those needs, we created JCPenney Beauty,” said the spokesperson.

The retailer worked with Landing International to curate a group of 17 minority-owned indie brands from the platform to be sold as part of the lineup. The group includes brands from Landing International’s roster of BIPOC-owned brands including Kmoni Cosmetics and Everyday Humans. The platform’s selection includes several K-beauty brands such as Cosrx and Hanskin.

“We reviewed probably over 100 brands with them, and we really chose ones that were unique and different,” said Sarah Chung, CEO of Landing International.

The JCPenney offering provides a new department store opportunity for indie brands exiting Kohl’s due to its Sephora partnership. Kmoni Cosmetics, for example, was previously stocked at Kohl’s via Landing International before Sephora took over the retailer’s beauty section. 

“When you work with indie brands, you get to bring in different types of things,” said Chung. “There is more innovation when you bring in indie brands, [and] you get products that are targeted more to people of color.”

Below is the full list of Thirteen Lune brands entering JCPenney Beauty:

The brands curated via Landing International are:

Pure Lotus
Unplugged Essentials
The Renatural
St. Moriz
Clean Circle
Everyday Humans
Kmoni Cosmetics
When Beauty
Common Ground
By Wishtrend
O.R.G Skincare
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