USA TODAY International Edition



J. C. Penney plans to open "toy shops" within its department stores in an effort to recapture the magic from the days when it excited kids and parents with toys in its holiday catalogs. Seeking its footing amid rickety times for physical retail, the department- store chain is hoping to capitalize on a successful decision to revive toy sales during the 2016 holiday season for the first time in years. J. C. Penney will add the toy shops permanentl­y in all of its stores, numbering more than 1,000 locations. The retailer had already added toys in 100 stores and had plans to expand its assortment for back- to- school shopping. But the companywid­e rollout reflects an aggressive pivot for a retailer seeking to demonstrat­e its relevance amid the surging presence of Amazon. com and nimbler physical competitor­s. . "We know that shoppers buy toys year- round and by creating a fun, inviting toy shop, with some of the biggest brands and hottest products, we will entice families to shop and spend more at J. C. Penney," said John Tighe, executive vice president and chief merchant, in a statement. "Toys are an exciting product category for JCPenney and an instore attraction that will drive traffic and sales as we continue to focus on increasing revenue per customer."

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