Can Disney Characters Help Save J.C. Penney?

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J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) announced that it’s adding a Disney (NYSE:DIS) Shop inside 565 store locations around the country as the struggling retailer tries desperately to turn its fortunes around in time for the holiday shopping season.

“The idea of creating a Disney Shop inside JCPenney is truly a fairytale come true. Disney is such a fun, imaginative brand with inspiring products that appeal to the young and the young at heart,” Betsy Schumacher, J.C. Penney’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager for children, said in the company’s press release. “The addition of Disney Shops to JCPenney will be a major draw in our kids department, offering customers an entirely new selection of high quality gifts just in time for the holiday season.”

The Disney Shop will contain children’s apparel and toys with characters from many of Disney’s franchises, items that J.C. Penney said would be “affordable.” The stores will first have a focus on the Disney-Pixar film Monsters University to coincide with the film’s release on DVD at the end of the month.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Disney Shop idea was part of former CEO Ron Johnson’s failed attempt to revive the retailer through launching several different “store-within-a-store” shops and getting rid of sales and coupons. Johnson was fired in April after the company posted $1 billion in losses and a 25 percent drop in sales during his first year at the helm.

J.C. Penney stock has plummeted in the past month, falling 31.45 percent since the beginning of September. By the end of the month, investors were abandoning ship as analysts warned of bankruptcy. Since the Disney Shop idea is a part of an initiative that has already proved to be a failure, it’s unlikely that the Disney Shop will help put a stop to J.C. Penney’s free-fall.

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