You might pick up bathroom essentials at J.C. Penney, but now you can get a new bathroom. The department store announced that it will start testing remodeling and other home services later this month.
J.C. Penney's CEO Marvin Ellison was on CNBC's Power Lunch Thursday talking about the new initiative, which will also include services like installing home heating and cooling systems, quick-ship and installed blinds, whole home water solutions, awnings, and smart home technology.
"We're looking at services like simple bath remodels, not the gut and plumbing, but a simple, one- or two-day refresh," Ellison added. "It's a $300 billion market that we believe we have the opportunity to pick up some significant market share."
This comes after the retailer decided to bring back appliances more than a year ago, setting up 500 in-store showrooms and directly challenging mall competitor Sears. The move was a good one—Ellison said appliance sales are driving significant comparable sales growth and improving productivity on the company's fourth quarter earnings call last month. "It was one of our strongest categories for 2016," he said.
The company also received an 11% boost in customer satisfaction last year, according to the ACSI. Their report noted that appliances were also successful in this regard, as well as "new same-day pickup for online orders, and an overhaul of the JCPenney website and app."
If the new services seem off-brand, all you need to do take a trip to the past. "If you go back on the timeline, J.C. Penney actually served a lot of these products and services at one time in our history," Ellison said.
One thing that definitely is new, though, are smart home installation services. The retailer is working with Samsung in the category, with a particular focus on safety and security, which Ellison says the company's 70% female customer base has said is important (70% of which are homeowners).
The services will be tested in 100 stores nationwide.