JC Penney Replacing Cash Registers With Coffee and Juice Bars

Caribou coffee
Caribou coffee

By Ashley Lutz

JCPenney (JCP) can offer shoppers something no online retailer can: food and drinks to enjoy while they spend money.

CEO Ron Johnson said the retailer was planning on replacing traditional cash registers with coffee and juice bars, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Bloomberg News. A prototype he showed reporters in August included a Caribou coffee stand.

The stands will be there so "no one has to leave the store if they want to refresh," Johnson said.

It's a smart strategy and one that gives JCPenney a leg up on online retailers. Johnson has also announced plans to give associates iPads and eliminate most cash registers.

Other retailers are also using food to lure shoppers into physical stores and away from their computers.

After introducing cafes to a couple of its stores, Urban Outfitters (URBN) found that a visit to the cafe doubled the amount of time people spent in the store, Maheshwari reported.

Gap's Banana Republic has also started hosting more in-store events that include food.

"The one thing you can't get in the cyberworld is the tactile experience and that won't go away," an Urban Outfitters executive told Bloomberg. "Food is becoming bigger and bigger in terms of entertainment value."


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