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Myron Ullman

JCP's Big Turnaround Test: Home Goods Relaunch

J.C. Penney Co Inc is about to undo the centerpiece of former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson's failed vision to take the retailer upmarket.On Thursday, the department store chain is relaunching its home goods sections. It has brought back many of the more affordable, no-frills brands the former Apple executive ditched and reduced the space given to trendier brands he thought would bring in new shoppers.Penney is trying to rebuild its home business by offering more lower priced items, more in-house brands and additional floor space for basics like towels and comforters. The retailer wants to recapture former clients and go head to head with rivals like Target Corp and Kohl's Corp.Fixing the home business is crucial to Penney's fledgling turnaround, both in-store and online, where it generates half of jcp.com's sales."Home is a traffic driver for the whole store," said Jan Hodges, senior vice president in charge of Penney's home goods business. Store visits fell 17 percent during Jo...

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