JC Penney opens a new store -- on Facebook

The JC Penney logo.

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Retail sales were up in November. The Commerce Department said today the holiday season started strong. A lot of that holiday shopping done online, of course. And department store JC Penney wants to turn Facebook fans into shoppers. It's one of the first major retailers to launch a web-store inside Facebook.

Marketplace's Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: Lady Gaga is one of the most popular people on Facebook with more than 10 million fans. Considering that Penneys is a mid level department store, its fan base isn't too shabby either -- with about a million. And it wants those fans to do their holiday shopping while they're updating their Facebook status. Penneys has created a web-store inside the social network.

Professor Clay Shirky is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. He says this is a chance for retailers to quantify how much benefit they're getting from Facebook.

CLAY SHIRKY: We've never really know what it means to be a fan of Penneys, whether than translates into sales or not.

Shirkey says the embedded site could also lower the hassle factor of buying stuff. Now you don't even have to leave Facebook to do a little holiday shopping.

In New York, I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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