Meanwhile, Penney's is rolling out appliance showrooms to another 100 stores and will test in-home installation services.
"Appliances reinforce the ongoing strength of our growth initiative as we pivot our retail strategy towards nonapparel and growing categories," CEO Marvin Ellison told investors on the company's most recent earnings call.
Urban Outfitters' CEO Richard Hayne admitted the company's higher-price Anthropologie label has been missing the mark on apparel. While it works to reverse the sales decline in that category, the brand is leaning into home decor and beauty — two segments where revenue increased last quarter.
Even Burlington, which built its business on winter apparel, is reducing the number of sales it generates from that category. Part of that shift includes a plan to grow its home business from 12.5 percent last year to nearly 20 percent. Cold weather apparel has been a particularly tough category the past few years due to unseasonably warm temperatures.
While diversifying their businesses is a good strategy to grab incremental dollars, there is risk, Hogan said. Namely, the fact that multiple chains are chasing the same categories could eventually lead to a similar saturation that's occurring in apparel.
The best way for retailers to go about this transition is for each to find its niche category to build its brand on, Hogan said. They can then use their rounded-out assortment to get shoppers adding incremental items to their baskets.
"There's always a balancing act to be played," she said.
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