David Paul Morris  /  Getty Images
Sephora in downtown San Francisco is shown in this file photo. J.C. Penney has announced a partnership with the cosmetics retailer, and hopes to lure in young female consumers.
updated 4/11/2006 4:44:17 PM ET 2006-04-11T20:44:17

In a bid to lure young female customers, J.C. Penney Co. said Tuesday it will open Sephora stores within its department stores starting this fall, under an agreement with the high-end cosmetics retailer.

Sephora will open “store-within-stores” and be the exclusive seller of beauty products in J.C. Penney, which has been trying to erase its image as a dowdy middle-market department store operator with younger, more modern merchandise and marketing.

Sephora, which is owned by Paris-based luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, operates more than 500 stores worldwide selling cosmetics, perfume and other beauty products from different brands. J.C. Penney operates about 1,000 stores.

Under the agreement, each Sephora shop will be located in a prominent location in the center of the department store and feature the display cases and trained salespeople who work in standalone Sephora stores. The rollout will begin starting in the fall.

Sephora will also be the exclusive online beauty products seller on Penney’s Web site through a link to its store from from, which recently surpassed the $1 billion mark in annual revenue in Penney’s recent fiscal year.

“J.C. Penney’s focus on providing relevant merchandise to its broad customer base is consistent with our objectives, “ said David Suliteanu, president and CEO of Sephora U.S.A. in a statement. “This includes America’s youngest women, a market in which J.C. Penney is a significant and rapidly growing factor.”

Under the stewardship of Chairman and Chief Executive Myron E. “Mike” Ullman III, who joined Penney in late 2004, the department store operator has been offering more upscale merchandise, including names like fashion designer Nicole Miller and home furnishing maven Chris Madden.

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