By that time, the store will be redesigned into a number of smaller boutique-type stores and will be designed as more of a destination for people to come and stay for a while, instead of buying an item and heading for the exists.
The changes are detailed in an article in today's Dallas Morning News:
In September, four more brand shops for fall go into the 700 largest stores: Izod in men’s, Liz Claiborne in women’s and one each from Penney’s own new “jcp” brand. A couple of new shops will be added every month, encouraging shoppers to come back and see what’s new.Individual shops have their own fixtures and lighting. Counters with stools — Apple store mainstays that started with the genius bar (CEO Ron) Johnson created a decade ago in his former job (at Apple) — are a common feature in the street mockup.Checkout counters with cash registers are replaced by seating areas with sofas or long tables with built-in iPads and stools where shoppers can sit and access the Internet. At the end of the mocked-up street is a snack bar with a seating area and small tables.The new ambiance is designed “to encourage people to come and stay a while,” Johnson said.In the new store layout, Penney employees carry mobile checkouts, “right here,” Johnson said while holding up the palm of his hand. The new layout includes multipurpose bars where shoppers can pay with cash, return items, have something gift wrapped or pick up an online order.The design is supposed to “inspire and engage shoppers and allow them to relax, refresh and gather,” Johnson said. “People shop in twos: a mother and daughter, a husband and wife, girlfriends. One of them can still be close by but get a cup of coffee or sit down and check email.”
The article goes into much more information about the coming transformation.