How 3 major retailers are reinventing to keep customers

As struggling retailers strive to keep pace with online competitors, they’ve turned to reinventing various facets of their brick-and-mortar existence, or even partnering with new services to lure back digital shoppers.

Take JCPenney, for example, which unveiled its new Salon by InStyle location Friday at its Bridgewater Falls store. The revamped salon features a variety of servicesat the Fairfield Twp. store, which is the second in Ohio and one of the first of 100 locations nationwide to get the updated salon concept this year.

The partnership between JCPenney and InStyle magazine, saw the store remodel and expand its selection of salon products, according to salon field manager Katie Kansy.

“One of the things that InStyle does is it just really just kind of hits home with that modern client that we’re looking to capture,” Kansy said. “JCPenney salons have traditionally been the JCP Salon and that drives a variety of clientele.”

The location not only added services, but also four new stylists, giving it a staff of 23. It is looking to hire at least 10 more.

JCPenney plans to remodel its Eastgate and Florence, Ky., salons in the next six weeks, according to Jason Bittner, JCPenney’s district manager.

“We listened to our customers and they definitely wanted those elevated services,” Bittner said. “We listened to all of the customer demand and kind of prioritized based on what the customer wants. This is something you can’t get online, so when you look at a competitive advantage standpoint, the salon business for us, this is one of our biggest competitive advantages in the marketplace.”

But it’s not just JCPenney looking to broaden its appeal by renovating space or adding goods and services.


Macy’s locations at Tri-County Mall and Dayton Mall this year added the retail giant’s Macy’s Backstage, a store-within-a-store shopping experience that features savings on apparel for men, women and children, as well as deals on housewares, home textiles and decor, cosmetics, hair and nail care, gifts, jewelry, shoes, designer handbags, accessories and activewear.

Frequent deliveries aim to give customers a new reason to come into the brick-and-mortar store and shop. Different buying teams for Backstage and for larger Macy’s help ensure the two entities have different items for sale. Backstage doesn’t use coupons or have sales, but is marketed as having prices that don’t require waiting for a sale.

There are more than 96 Macy’s Backstage locations nationwide. By the end of June, the state of Ohio will have a total of 6 Backstage locations in the following markets: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

Macy’s has ambitious growth plans for Backstage and said earlier this year that it will open 100 more Backstage stores in 2018 and will backing up that growth with a dedicated distribution center in Columbus.


Target last week expanded two of its time-saving new delivery and pickup services, Drive Up and Shipt, across the Midwest and Southeast, including in the Cincinnati area.

“We set out this year with an ambitious plan to bring Target guests nationwide more ways to shop on their terms,” said John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer. “Our guests are enjoying the convenience of these new delivery and pickup services as we’re working to redefine the Target Run and make Target America’s easiest place to shop.”

The expansion means tens of millions of Target guests can now get same-day delivery of groceries and more with Shipt, while also speeding up their Target Runs with Drive Up, a service where team members bring online orders out to guests’ vehicles, usually within a few minutes.

By the end of June, Target will offer Shipt in more than 135 markets allowing guests to shop our in-store assortment of groceries, essentials, electronics, home décor items and other products and have them all delivered the same day.

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