Target and J.C. Penney would like for you to stop mentioning them in the same sentence as “retail apocalypse.”
One is turning to your kids while the other is trying to save you steps in the process.
Penney’s announced Thursday that it’s added toy stores in all of its locations. That includes you, Olympia and Tacoma.
“The Toy Shops in the Tacoma/Olympia locations are all set up for customers to begin shopping and purchasing toys,” according to an emailed statement from Penney’s to The News Tribune on Monday.
The chain also is expanding its online toy offerings.
“J.C. Penney has a nostalgic history of selling sought-after toys in our early Christmas catalogs, so we brought toys back last holiday season to see if they would resonate once again,” said John Tighe, executive vice president and chief merchant for Penney’s in the retailer’s announcement. We were extremely pleased by customer response.”
The company is looking at toys as an in-store attraction that will drive traffic and sales, Tighe said.
The toys will be sold year-round (not just for the holidays) in the children’s department with space for children to try out select toys.
Penney has been trimming its store numbers by 138 this year, though in April it announced a slowdown in the liquidations from an uptick in traffic.
The chain introduced appliances to its local stores last year.
Meanwhile, Target is testing a revamped curbside pickup at some stores in Minneapolis with employees only, with plans for bigger rollout “soon,” according to The Star Tribune. Its first try at curbside stopped in June.
Target had offered curbside pickup through the Curbside app in a few markets but not in Washington State. As for the new test program, “No expansion plans to share at this time,” Target told The News Tribune via email on Monday.
The retailer plans to remodel 600 stores within the next three years, lowering prices and adopting other strategies.
Two Seattle-area Targets are slated for remodel this year, with another one in Spokane Valley completed in April, according to the retailer.
No word on any future remodels for stores closer to Tacoma.
Rethinking retail models is happening industry-wide, including at Sears, which opened a mattress-appliance-only store in Pharr, Texas.
Yes, that was a Sears opening. The chain still continues to close stores, including one in 2015 that was just a few miles from the new mattress-appliance experimental model.