jcpenney offers free back-to-school haircuts in August

jcpenney is ushering in the back-to-schoolshopping season by offering free haircuts all month to elementary school students in the department store salons.

"We really just want to help kids go back to school in style, and we're helping the parents too," said Ann Marie Bishop, a company spokeswoman. "Whether you have one kid or more, the value really adds up."

The offer, for students entering grades K through 6, is good through the end of the month, while reservations are available, Bishop said. Walk-ins are welcome too.

On Aug. 1st, the first day of the haircut promotion, stylists clipped hair for about 104,000 kids. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 975,000 appointments had been scheduled for the month at the nearly 950 jcpenney department stores with salons.

"It's been really well received," Bishop said.

The back-to-school haircut offer coincides with a new look for the department store chain. On Aug. 1st, J.C. Penney Co.Inc.debuted its "Shops" concept, a new store layout organized by brand. The first wave of "shops" include areas with expanded assortments of Levi's, i jeans by Buffalo and The Original Arizona Jean Co. The Levi's shop features Levi's specialists working the floor and a denim bar, where shoppers can view iPad images of the 11 styles and 88 denim washes.

"The back-to-school season presents the perfect opportunity to offer free haircuts for kids and unveil our new Shops, giving customers a first glimpse of what will soon be an entirely new retail experience," jcpenney CEO Ron Johnson said in a statement.

The chain renovated nearly 700 stores to make room for the first brand Shops. jcpenney expects to transform its layout over the next few years into a collection of Shops for apparel and home merchandise brands.

Consumers can book kids' haircuts, a $14 value, by contacting a local jcpenney salon or by calling 855-jcp-kids.

The hope is that shoppers will leave with lighter locks but heavier bags, full of jcpenney merchandise.

"If customers come in, and there's a wait, there will be time for them to shop," Bishop said.



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