Marvin Ellison, J.C. Penney’s current CEO and a former Home Depot executive, has his eye on Sears’ appliance business.
“We’re going after Sears and we’re going after market share that we think is going to be available not only now but as they continue to contract,” Ellison says in a Fortune article.
Sears has now spent years struggling to return to profitability and, to cut costs, is continuing to close stores steadily. The company announced Jan. 4 that it will be closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears locations by early April.
Sears’ struggle is an opportunity for J.C. Penney, according to Fortune.
“Penney last year added showrooms for and mattresses at some 500 stores in its efforts to become less reliant on apparel, bolster its home goods category, and frankly, to capitalize on the years-long sales decline at Sears, once the leading seller of appliances in the United States,” Fortune reports.
J.C. Penney has only been selling kitchen and laundry appliances since February of 2016, but growth in the category gave the retailer a boost in 2017 holiday sales, Fortune says. The company had previously stopped selling appliances in the 1980s.