J.C. Penney Opening "Jacques Penne" Pop-Up Shop

Courtesy of J.C. Penney

Self-deprecating humor is "in" for the holidays.

J.C. Penney is poking fun at itself this holiday season with a "Jacques Penne" pop-up shop. (Think "Tarjay."

The retailer is aiming to create a sense of discovery by discreetly branding the shop "Jacques Penne," the fancy Frenchified nickname shoppers have been using for the affordable American department store for decades when wanting to make it sound more chic and expensive. Once inside, shoppers "will be pleasantly surprised to find that the boutique is actually a J.C. Penney pop-up shop," according to a release.

The two-day shopping experience will offer curated collections from some of the retailer's more recognizable brands, including top picks from Nicole Richie and styles from J.C. Penney design partners Michael Strahan and Libby Edelman. There also will be customer meet-and-greets with actress Laura Marano, WeWoreWhat blogger Danielle Bernstein and YouTube stars Brooklyn and Bailey.

The pop-up will run Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 446 Broadway in New York City. For those unable to attend the physical pop-up, J.C. Penney is also introducing a 360-degree virtual and mobile experience that will allow shoppers across the country to purchase from the shop, available Thursday through Jan. 7 on jacquespennejcp.com.

The "Jacques Penne" shop is part of the chain's plan to help customers rediscover the department store, which has struggled to maintain its appeal as a shopping destination in the last couple of years (as most department stores have), by inviting them to take part in a J.C. Penney Holiday Challenge "to beat their holiday budget and get more for less." (J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $128 million in its third quarter, compared to a net loss of $67 million in the same period last year.)

"We are stepping up our game when it comes to showcasing the breadth of newness, excitement and value within our gift assortment this year, proving that if shoppers go to J.C. Penney looking for a special gift, they will come out finding so much more," Marci Grebstein, chief marketing officer for J.C.Penney, said in a statement. "By leveraging this key shopping period, we are looking to surprise holiday shoppers with the level of relevant merchandise available at J.C. Penney, updating their perception of our brand this season and beyond."

The department store most recently partnered with Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross on a holiday capsule collection.

In addition to finding bargains, customers also will be supporting a good cause when shopping at the Jacques Penne pop-up; all proceeds from the shopping experience will benefit The J.C. Penney Foundation, a charity supporting programs dedicated to serving underserved youth.

Our biggest question is this: Will they have branded Jacques Penne T-shirts and tote bags? Let's hope for a Christmas miracle.

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