Retailer J.C. Penney is making its way into the $200 billion hospitality industry, shifting its attention from fighting Amazon’s e-commerce dominance to hotels.
Companies such as Amazon have shown themselves to be masters of the business-to-consumer space, forcing J.C. Penney to pivot to the business-to-business market. Specifically, J.C. Penney will begin offering B2B services to the hotel, lodging and multiunit residential industries, gravitating away from its retail roots.
“Our entry into the B2B program reinforces our home refresh initiative, while providing new and innovative ways to achieve sustainable growth and profitability,” Marvin Ellison,CEO of J.C. Penney, said in a statement. “The idea first stemmed from hotel operators who were already ordering large-volume purchases of bedding, bath and window treatments at JCPenney.com.”
While this is a new strategy for the retailer, the company is sticking to a few old strategies. More notably, J.C. Penney’s announcement said the company will be using its brick-and-mortar stores and supply chain network as the primary means of satisfying B2B sales between it and hoteliers. The announcement referred to the company’s competitive advantage “by being one of the most experienced retail sourcing organizations in the industry.”
Another driver behind J.C. Penney’s switch to B2B is related to the company’s expansive home-textile selection, as well as its recent push back into the appliance market. Specifically, J.C. Penney has returned to selling washing machines, refrigerators and other large devices in demand as the extended-stay market continues to grow. The company is primarily looking to supply hotels, inns and property-management companies with bulk purchasing needs, an industry that represents $200 billion in sales every year.