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8 things you didn’t know about the new and improved JCPenney

If you haven’t visited your local JCPenney lately, it might be time to give it another look!

Just a couple of years ago, the department store founded by James Cash Penney in 1902 was in trouble, and many wondered if it would even survive.

But earlier this year, Motley Fool described JCPenney as the “retail turnaround of the century.”

RELATED: 12 money-saving secrets to know about Ross Dress for Less

While the Texas-based chain still has a long way to go as it works to increase sales and reduce debt, most would agree things are starting to look up.

Read on to learn about some of the changes happening at this resilient retailer.

1. “Penney Days”

In a move to put the focus back on its private-label brands, JCPenney has started hosting “Penney Days” throughout the year, in stores and on JCP.com.

To get the penny deal, shoppers usually have to buy one regular priced item. However, JCPenney says there will be times when they sell things for just one cent without another purchase required.

Look for details on these special promotions in weekly sales circulars.

2. Appliances are back

Taking direct aim at Sears, JCPenney has decided to bring back home appliances after a three decade absence.

Things like refrigerators and washing machines are being added to 500 stores and JCP.com. As of late July, the retailer offered special financing, plus free delivery and installation.

Fingers crossed the new competition will lead to lower prices as well!

3. More Michael Strahan

In case you don’t get enough of Michael Strahan on “Good Morning America,” “The $100,000 Pyramid” and “Fox NFL Sunday,” there’s more of him at JCPenney.

He has two clothing lines at the retailer: one is dressy and the other is casual.

RELATED: Michael Strahan is done with “Live,” but he’s definitely not crying about it

Appearing on Chelsea Handler’s show recently, Strahan sported something from his new active lifestyle and loungewear collection, MSX by Michael Strahan.

4. New Sephora locations

You might be familiar with the beauty store Sephora, but did you know that they have locations inside many JCPenney stores?

Sephora is located within more than half of JCPenney’s 1,000 locations, so customers can treat themselves to free mini-makeovers and sample beauty products while they shop.

About 60 Sephora inside JCPenney locations opened this year.

5. Fashion for all shapes and sizes

JCPenney says it has proudly launched Boutique+, its first-ever plus-size fashion brand designed exclusively for the full-figured woman.

“Project Runway” winner Ashley Nell Tipton is serving as brand ambassador.

The Boutique+ brand will emphasize edgy patterns and bold colors, and JCPenney says the trendy new fashions will be priced competitively.

Sale prices range from $12.99 for a top to $39.99 for a jacket.

6. Changes in the home department

A lot of people used to love shopping at JCPenney for window treatments. In fact, the retailer once led that category. Now, they’re trying to win those customers back again.

Expect to see more curtains, blinds, shades and decorative hardware in your local store.

RELATED: 5 retail brands that have come back from the dead

In addition, JCPenney says it’s testing new collaborations with Ashley Furniture and Empire Today, which is a carpet and flooring installation company.

7. Bring on the coupons!

You may remember that previous leadership at JCPenney got rid of coupons, but the coupons are back and there’s no shortage of them.

Click here for in store and online coupons, which vary from week to week.

In addition to coupons, you can sign up for JCPenney Rewards to get a $10 reward for every 200 points earned. Points add up quickly with a store card, but you don’t need one to join.

8. Price match policy

As we’ve described, JCPenney has clearly made a lot of changes over the last few years, but you might wonder if you’ll be paying higher prices because of them.

Well, maybe the price match policy will put your mind at ease.

JCPenney says it will honor “any similar local competitor’s current advertised price on identical items we carry in stores” if you bring the ad to the store. Items sold on JCP.com are excluded.

This post is from RareRare. Click here to read the full text

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