J.C. Penney onboards Harvey Nichols’ former Beauty Director to turn around business

By Becky Bargh 8-Oct-2021

Retailer will lean on Jo Osborne’s experience in beauty retail to help business bounceback from Sephora exit

Jo Osborne

Jo Osborne

J.C. Penney has had a busy couple of weeks as the beleaguered business implements its turnaround strategy.

On the back of its new beauty concessions, launching in ten US destinations in the coming weeks, following its split from Sephora, the business has appointed Harvey Nichols’ former Beauty Director, Jo Osborne, to helm its beauty division.

Following her 15-year stint at the luxury British name, Osborne took on the role of SVP at Canada’s Hudson’s Bay, which she joined in June last year.

For J.C. Penney, Osborne brings with her 18 years of experience in the beauty arena, and will act as General Merchandise Manager for the department store chain’s beauty arm.

It has not been confirmed if Osborne will keep her role at Hudson’s Bay or join J.C. Penney full time.

In 2020, the department store chain filed for bankruptcy as a protective measure to help weather the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The retailer was also unable to reconcile its business partnership with Sephora, after a legal spat that saw the companies wind down their 15-year-long agreement – no doubt a hammer blow to the business’ recovery post-Covid.

However, J.C. Penney hopes that its new shop-in-shop concessions will be enough to keep customers loyal.

“Rooted in inclusivity, J.C. Penney Beauty grew out of direct feedback from our customers,” said Michelle Wlazlo, Executive VP and Chief Merchandising Officer at J.C. Penney.

“Together with our brand partners, we have reimagined every aspect of our beauty experience, from the highly curated assortment and welcoming space to the integrated loyalty programme and all new e-commerce experience.

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“We are incredibly proud to bring J.C. Penney Beauty to life in stores and online this fall.”