JCPenney focuses on black-owned beauty brands after Sephora exit

The US department store chain announced its inclusive cosmetics strategy after Sephora partnered with rival Kohls

JCPenney, the US department store chain, has unveiled its beauty business strategy after parting ways with Sephora.

The companies have been in partnership since 2009, but reached a turning point in May 2020 after JCPenney filed a temporary restraining order on the LVMH-owned beauty retailer to prevent Sephora from leaving the enterprise.

Sephora replaced JCPenney by announcing a long-term venture with rival department store Kohls in December.

JCPenney's new cosmetics concept 'JCPenney Beauty' will offer mass, masstige, and prestige products as well as promote "unique, authentic beauty".

Michelle Wlazlo, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of JCPenney, said: “Recognising that each customer is uniquely beautiful, we designed JCPenney Beauty to be a hyper-inclusive experience where everyone shines.

"We've partnered with like-minded beauty brands to bring this vision to life and ensure everyone is represented.”

The initiative will be a shop-in-shop partnership with Thirteen Lune, an e-commerce player that focuses on "brands created by black and brown founders that resonate with people of all backgrounds".

Nyakio Grieco, co-founder of Thirteen Lune, described the JCPenney Beauty space as "visionary".

She continued: "Together with JCPenney, we are able to reach so many more consumers with our inclusive beauty mission and product assortment, empowering them to see themselves reflected in our curation and dedication to uplifting our diverse offering of founders.”

The retail launch will open at select locations and via jcp.com from October 2021, with a US nationwide roll out from Autumn 2022.

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