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J.C. Penney is Getting a Massive Makeover: Will You Shop in the New and Improved Store?

Courtesy of J.C. Penney

Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney's new CEO as of last November, hasn't been in his new post for long—but already, he's got grand plans to makeover the all-American department store. Yesterday, at a press conference in New York—populated by Penney celeb designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Cindy Crawford—Johnson (the man behind Apple's awesome stores) laid out his plan to completely reshape "Penney's."

First, a new logo. Johnson said that the retail chain's iconic red square, which has evolved only slightly in the past, felt "boxed-in"; the new red, white and blue logo is heavily reminiscent of the American flag. It's all part of the CEO's master plan to make Penney's "America's favorite store."

Additionally, over the course of the next several years, the sales floor will be transformed from the usual rows of racks into a series of mini shop-in-shops for the chain's many brands (Izod, Liz Claiborne and so on). (Similar to how the fashion floors at Bloomingdale's are set up.) By 2015, each and every J.C. Penney location will have a "town square" in its center, a place for shoppers to mingle and get help from employees. And there's more—in addition to new Martha Stewart lifestyle boutiques, Penney's has signed a deal with Nanette Lepore, who will create a new "sophisticated teen" brand for the superstore called "Amour."

Finally, and perhaps most refreshingly, Johnson is doing away with the old habit of stacking promotions, coupons and clearance deals. Starting this February, J.C. Penney will organize and streamline its sales calendar by month. Starting prices for every item on offer will be lower, with one later markdown for goods that stick around longer. Then, "best price Fridays" on the first and third Friday of each month will offer those pieces at the lowest-possible cost. Three levels of pricing to replace chaotic, in-your-face doorbuster deals? Sounds like a smart move to us.

What do you think about J.C. Penney's plan for reinvention? Could Johnson's changes motivate you to start shopping at the megastore?

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