JCP pursues B2B opportunities

Here’s a new RetailWire comment on Penney’s announcement that it is going after B2B opportunities with hotel operators, property developers, etc. to place its home goods in these kinds of facilities. It’s another example of CEO Marvin Ellison taking a page from his Home Depot playbook:

I’d be less concerned about the borrowings from Home Depot if I didn’t see improvements on the softlines side happening at the same time. There’s evidence (at least to these eyes) that the new merchant team at JCP is making some headway especially in women’s apparel, where the assortments and brand identity look crisper than they have for awhile.

That being said, the B2B initiative is a puzzle to me. Penney may see it as a volume opportunity — and a branding opportunity to place its private-label home goods inside hotel rooms, etc. But will hotel operators and franchisees be interested in dealing with a middleman, if they already source their linens and towels through the buying power of brands like Hilton, Marriott, etc.?


1 Response to “JCP pursues B2B opportunities”

  1. 1 stevenpdennis May 23, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I ran the commercial sales business at Sears and it was one of the most profitable divisions we had at the time (and some $600mm in revenue). The key is to focus on the right segments. Large players buy direct. Smaller guys need the value of a regional distributor (and the big guys are bad at it). Home Depot was in this business to a minor degree so I’m sure Ellison understands it, but I suspect they are going after this business because of Sears imminent demise. Also, if you are already in the appliance business it requires little incremental capital, just dedicated sales and customer service, all of which they could hire from Sears.

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