Even with its bankruptcy exit still not final, J.C. Penney is attracting new national brands to get ready for a holiday shopping season that’ll begin earlier than usual.



J. C. Penney at Collin Creek Mall in Plano last year during the holiday shopping season. That store is still open but is among the 150 stores closing soon.


© Staff Photographer/Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News/TNS
J. C. Penney at Collin Creek Mall in Plano last year during the holiday shopping season. That store is still open but is among the 150 stores closing soon.

Penney’s new brands are mostly in its home department, which is where Americans have been spending money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Plano-based Penney plans to exit bankruptcy this year so it has to stay in the game. It responded to Amazon Prime Day with its own Cyber Days Monday through Wednesday.

Retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others are moving up Black Friday discounts to compete with Prime Day. The two-day Prime Day was delayed from its usual mid-summer dates as even Amazon was overwhelmed with new demand from shoppers who were staying at home due to the coronavirus. This year, Amazon’s Tuesday and Wednesday U.S. sales are expected to exceed $6 billion, up from $4.4 billion last year, according to eMarketer.

In a statement, Penney CEO Jill Soltau said her team is “working to secure partnerships with new national brands and to expand our product offerings as part of our efforts to provide compelling merchandise and deliver an engaging shopping experience to our customers.” She has declined interview requests during the bankruptcy.

Among Penney’s new brands announced Monday are Schott Zwiesel wine glasses and Luminarc glassware, Cambridge flatware and Nordic Ware cookware. Those brands are also sold at specialty stores Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and Bed Bath & Beyond and direct competitor in the mall, Macy’s. New brands include Taste of Home cooking magazine bakeware, which is also sold at Macy’s and

JC Penney and Kohl’s (KSS) are the latest retailers to jump on the Amazon Prime Day bandwagon by holding their own sales events.

JC Penney made the announcement on Monday, saying that it was kicking off the holiday shopping season in mid-October with “new brands and amazing deals.” As part of its newly announced Cyber Days, JC Penney will hold its sale from Monday to Wednesday. Amazon Prime Day is being held Tuesday and Wednesday.

JC Penney, which filed bankruptcy in May, said it is offering more than 1,000 deals with up to 60% off some items. The company has partnered with top brands such as Sharper Image, PowerXL, Pure Enrichment, Cuisinart, Lego, Mattel, Fisher-Price, and Disney to offer deals to customers through the holiday season.

“It’s especially important to bring personal traditions into focus this holiday season, and we encourage shoppers to rely on JC Penney for all they need to make the holidays meaningful and memorable,” Jill Soltau, CEO at JC Penney, said in a statement.

“JCPenney is a true authority on quality and value for everyone’s holiday shopping list. We have been working to secure partnerships with new national brands and to expand our product offerings as part of our efforts to provide compelling merchandise and deliver an engaging shopping experience to our customers,” she added.

Kohl’s is also looking to go head-to-head against Amazon Prime Day by holding its own sales online and in-stores. Its deals will continue through December and offer discounts on brands offered at Kohl’s, including its newly added lines with Lands’ End, Lauren Conrad Beauty, TOMS, and Curated by Kohl’s collection.

Kohl’s said it will offer 5% Kohl’s Cash as part of its rewards program and other Kohl’s Cash opportunities throughout the holiday shopping season. The retailer also offers drive-up and in-store