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J.C. Penney to open 500 baby shops amid closure of Babies R' Us

J.C. Penney is expanding the baby products it sells at stores beyond clothing as the department store joins the many other chains trying to claim some of the Babies R Us sales up for grabs.

The Plano, Texas-based chain is opening baby shops in 500 stores that are near now-shuttered Babies R Us locations. That brand closed the rest of its more than 200 stores in June after parent company Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its business.

Starting Aug. 30, J.C. Penney will sell in stores items like cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats that it had formerly sold on its website only.

Many retailers are trying to take a piece of the baby business.Walmart recently revamped the baby section of its website, letting shoppers browse by style. It has also increased the number of baby products it sells by 30,000 in the last year. It said baby-related searches are up 40 percent year-over-year.

BuyBuy Baby, which has about 120 stores, offered to help those with Babies R Us gift registries recreate them at its stores. Target has expanded its private-label brand Cloud Island with more diaper bags and crib sheets. And Amazon had enlisted a pregnant Khloe Kardashian to promote its baby registries to her more than 70 million Instagram followers.

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