WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP — An ongoing collaboration between JCPenney and InStyle magazine has brought a new look to the retailer’s Wyoming Valley Mall store.
The Salon by InStyle debuted there on Friday. The Wyoming Valley Mall store is one of 100 locations nationwide that will be receiving “an updated salon concept” this year, company officials said.
As a result, JCPenney is hiring 10 stylists for the salon, with applicants invited to apply onsite. Perks include flexible scheduling, paid professional training, health benefits for full-time stylists, paid time off and 401K eligibility.
As part of the program, JCPenney is completely transforming each location with updated graphics, trend photography, accent lighting, modern fixtures and sleek furniture.
The salon offers haircuts, color, signature blowouts, hair treatments, extensions and natural styling. Customers can also shop for salon products, tools and accessories from a number of major names.
The collaboration between JCPenney and InStyle dates back to 2015, when the retailer debuted 15 pilot locations and two flagship locations — one in its home market of Dallas and the other in Glendale, Calif., according to Modern Salon magazine. The goal of the program was to reinvent JCPenney’s nearly 900 salons across the US.
JCPenney’s investment in the Wyoming Valley Mall salon also comes at a time when the shopping center has been working to replace major vacancies caused by the departure of other national chains.
Two of the store’s four anchor stores, Bon-Ton and Sears, announced this spring that they would be closing their locations at the mall — in Bon-Ton’s case because the entire chain was going out of business. Sears, meanwhile, has been gradually downsizing its national footprint for years.
JCPenney and Macy’s are the other two anchors at the 910,000-square-foot mall, which opened in 1971.
But the past year also brought the debut of H&M — Hennes & Mauritz AB — one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, which drew hundreds of shoppers to the mall on its opening day last fall.
In a separate development, the June 13 tornado which destroyed many retail properties in the township led to a deal in which the owner of a displaced Ashley Furniture Homestore franchise will be occupying the former H.H. Gregg site on the mall property.
The mall is owned by Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), which owns or manages 21 malls in the Mid-Atlantic, South and Great Lakes regions. PREIT officials previously said they have been in talks with possible unspecified tenants to replace the two anchors.