Tough going at J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney shares have plunged nearly 60% over the past year as Johnson — a former Apple executive who spearheaded the tech giant’s retail strategy — has struggled to lead a turnaround effort. He took over at J.C. Penney in November of 2011 and has since announced a series of new initiatives including overhauled prices, redesigned store layouts, and even free haircuts for kids.

So far, the results have been dismal.

Selling iPhones wasn’t so bad after all.

  • Believe it or not, the product does make the difference after all.

  • So is no one at Apple allowed to try new things?

  • chjode

    Not that it’s significant, but I received not one, but two coupons in the mail from JCPenney’s this past week. These are the same $10 off $25/$15 off $50 style coupons that were so common a few years ago at JCP. I wonder if this is part of their way to win back shoppers.

  • I like JCP and hope it can make a comeback. I think the store is suffering the pains every brick-and-mortar establishment is suffering lately. Double that due to the effects stores like Wal Mart have had on department stores, and it really has a major uphill battle.

    There are a couple of things that stand out to me as things to work on. First, the last few times I’ve been in the stores (there are about 3 close to me here in Oklahoma City — which also might be a problem), it really looks like discount dollar city. The place is filled with discounted clothing and more ranging from $3 and up. There are racks packed together leaving goat trail aisles,and the large main aisles are being encroached upon by discount racks and tables. Most of the stuff is actually pretty nice, and the staff works pretty hard to keep it all looking as good as possible — but the overall impression still is that you walked into a store one step up from Goodwill.

    Second: their website is tricky and website service spotty. I’ve had trouble ordering things in Safari and Chrome due to buttons not working and pages not loading the data I requested. Actually, I’ve never been able to check on an order via my account; it always says I have no orders pending. I have to enter the phone number and order number while not logged in to see status. That status isn’t updated very well. Customer service by phone is excellent, though.

    The second one is fixable. The first? That’s going to take more work as they define just what they really are now in a time when all department stores are struggling. They may get a short reprieve as the economy improves, and they’ve definitely made a lot of friends due to their ads and stand on marriage (those friends are young, though, and buy on the internet), but they need to decide just how bargain basement they want to appear and if selling low cost and hoping for high volume is going to keep them in business.

  • I give him credit for trying. What really can you do? Their name is synonymous with old people clothes. They should just close down and relaunch a new brand.