J.C. Penney Bets Big on Smartwatches and Bridal for the Holidays

J.C. Penney Co. announced in a statement this morning that it’s making a major investment in both smartwatches and moderately priced fine jewelry for brides this holiday season.

Starting Oct. 30, the company will launch a selection of smartwatches from brands including Garmin, Samsung, and Misfit in 245 stores and on JCPenney.com.

The retailer has also rebranded its fine jewelry department as J.C. Penney Co. Fine Jewelry, Est. 1902, “to reflect its classic heritage.” The in-house jewelry brand will include a reinvigorated Modern Bride concept that focuses on accessible pricing.

The Modern Bride area and presentation have been refreshed in all JCPenney locations, according to the statement. The company’s also revamped its training program for fine jewelry sales associates in its stores, emphasizing education on “the quality and characteristics of the diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals found in collections throughout the department.”

Pam Mortensen, senior vice president of fine and fashion jewelry and watches, explained the impetus behind both initiatives in the statement: “Fine jewelry is an extremely personal purchase, boasting some of the most loyal customers in our store. By bringing the latest trends in smartwatch technology into our assortment, we have the chance to attract new customers and introduce them to other areas inside JCPenney.”

She added, “Our research tells us that fine jewelry is one of the best opportunities for cross-shopping at JCPenney as shoppers may initially come in for a smartwatch, and then discover a captivating mix of fashion, beauty, salon, shoes, and accessories.”

(Top: Pink morganite and 14k gold ring from JCPenney’s Modern Bride collection)

JCK Magazine Editor