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J.C. Penney to roll out baby shops at 500 stores

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said Aug. 9 that it will roll out baby shops at 500 of its stores beginning Aug. 30., in a bid to tap into the growing market share in the baby care business.

James Starke, senior vice president and head of merchandising for J.C. Penney, said the company's strategy is to place the baby shops in store locations that are near specialty baby retailers that have closed.

The department store chain has offered cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats on its online platform, but the physical shops will expand J.C. Penney's selection to include bottles, pacifiers, diaper bags and bouncer seats.

The shops will also feature an expanded Okie Dokie clothing range under J.C. Penney's private-label brand, along with baby items from other brands.

Most products such as car seats and strollers will be stocked at the store. Nursery furniture will be available in select stores, with the remaining stores arranging delivery of items such as cribs and mattresses.

The launch of the baby shops will coincide with J.C. Penney's annual Baby Sale event later in August.