J.C. Penney is going through what appears to be a little bit of a mid-life crisis. They yearn to be hip and edgy. And so they’ve done stuff like hire openly gay comedienne and yogi Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson (to much fanfare and controversy), offer free kids haircuts for the month of August, and now, in their efforts to “transform” the department store “not improve” it, CEO Ron Johnson is reaching for the hippest thing out there these days. Yoga!
The CEO of the Plano-based retailer said that in the center of the store, known as ”The Square,” the company will have seasonal merchandise, as well as activities like yoga or Pilates classes.
Johnson plans to have couches and coffee bars in 15-foot-wide aisles, or what Johnson calls, “places to engage.” It will be just like an Apple store, Johnson said.
Oh goody. Johnson, the former Apple retail chief, will deck out the new space with iPads and other gadgetry. Add gourmet hot dogs and a beer garden and it’ll be like the hipsters never left Brooklyn!
Yoga in a department store. The new retail therapy?
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Why would anyone want to do yoga in the middle of a department store? Those little kids running around after their free haircuts aren’t going to help you find your inner calm…
while I think having yoga in the store is a totally silly idea, having yoga GEAR in the store is a great idea. not everyone can afford prana and lululemon, I hope there was no brand-snobbery point to this article. yoga should be for everyone. but not in the aisles of ANY store, IMO.
I think this is a smart approach ….it reminds me of a business model Federated had for their stores Sanger Harris in the eighties. I was in the Special Events Dept. …. we held Jazzercize classes amongst hundreds other types of claases and events which drove traffic into the stores on a daily basis. Most of these storesmhave auditoriums and large rooms to hold classes. Brick and Mortar retailers are going to HAVE to get creative. This guy is on the right track.