J.C. Penney Hopes Housewares Will Lead to Turnaround in Fortunes

J.C. Penney is honing in on its home department as part of a bigger plan to turn its stores into mini-malls of sorts.

The struggling department-store chain is unveiling revamped home areas within its stores that feature 20 boutiques that highlight 50 new brands. The areas will include an eclectic mix of items, from $60 Michael Graves’ stainless steel teakettles to $1,850 Jonathan Adler Happy Chic sofas.

The home areas, which Penney will begin to roll out Friday at 500 of its 1,100 stores, will test CEO Ron Johnson’s plan

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