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Penney's opens revamped store in Hurst with a new name, yoga studio, arcade

The store ditched the "JC" and is a "lab" for the Plano-based retailer to provide an experience that customers say they want.

HURST, Texas — It has all the makings of a grand-opening — a marching band, cheerleaders, a ribbon-cutting — but this store never closed. Instead, Friday marked what the company is calling a reimagining.

The JCPenney at North East Mall in Hurst underwent a 13-week transformation with the most noticeable change, the name – Penney’s.

In recent years, the Plano headquartered retailer has been losing millions of dollars and has closed unprofitable stores. 

Now, the 117-year old brand is trying something new.

Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau says the rebranding starts by listening to the consumer.

“In recent years we admittedly veered away from knowing our customer,” Soltau said Friday.

Not anymore. This Penney’s actually has less merchandise and more space for customers to relax.

There's a movement studio for yoga classes and a barbershop where customers get a shoeshine or a clean shave.

Everything you see in this store comes from what Penney’s customers have told the retailer they want in a shopping experience. 

The Chief Customer Officer Shawn Gensch says the company is listening.

“This is indeed a lab for us,” Gensch said. “We’re really trying to learn from this store.”  

There is an arcade lounge for kids and a coffee bistro on the second floor. 

The entire store is light, bright and open. For now, the layout and presentation is a one-of-a-kind concept.

Company leaders say by listening to what customers tell them, the Hurst location could provide the blueprint for changes to its 850 other stores nationwide.

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