The stores are beginning—beginning—to resemble the hip commercials for JC Penney. JCP’s first “Shops” are now open at 700 stores nationwide, including 13 Minnesota locations. The first shops, aimed at back to school shoppers, are Levi’s, the Original Arizona Jean Co., and i jeans by Buffalo. It’s a mix of new product—Levi’s denim in 11 fits and 88 washes—fresh design and high tech touches, like mobile checkout. The next wave of shops will open Sept. 1 featuring dedicated brand departments for Liz Claiborne, IZOD, and jcp, a new private brand focused on fashion basics. It’s been a rocky transition for JCP, but don’t count them out!