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A Truly Depressing Visit to JCPenney
Slate ^ | 3-1-2013 | Matthew Yglesias

Posted on 03/02/2013 7:34:55 AM PST by Sir Napsalot

.... Fourth-quarter earnings results came out on Wednesday and they were terrible. The bad news starts with a quarterly loss of $427 million, but it doesn’t end there. Comparable store sales—meaning stores that were open this past quarter and also open in the same quarter of the previous year—fell by a mind-boggling 32 percent. Henry Blodget says it may have been the worst quarter posted by any retailer ever.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. JCPenney made a big splash in the retail world by hiring Ron Johnson, mastermind of Apple’s retail operations, as CEO. He immediately set about to reorganize the stores, and imported Apple concepts, most notably a “no discounting” policy geared around convincing customers that the everyday price is a great price. The results seemed to speak for themselves, but I was curious. After all, I’ve never given the “new” JCPenney a try. Perhaps Johnson is a visionary genius who’s reinvented the department store, and the world just isn’t ready for him. Perhaps he’s the victim of bad luck. Perhaps shareholders just need to hold on and have faith.

So I took the Metro to the Maryland suburbs for a visit to the JCPenney in the Wheaton Plaza Mall to see if Johnson really is reviving the legendary chain. .... Nobody was ever driven into bankruptcy by unreliable Wi-Fi, but that’s the Ron Johnson Era in a nutshell. Instead of building on what the people who like JCPenney liked about JCPenney, he undertook a series of essentially arbitrary changes that alienated some without drawing anyone new in.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: bhoeconomy; homo; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; jcp; jcpenney; retail
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To: Sir Napsalot
I stopped at a JCPenney just a couple weeks ago, to see what it as like, hadn't been in one in years, but a new one opened up nearby. The sense of disorganized chaos is real. The aisles were obstructed with a series of poorly positioned mannequins placed squarely in the middle of the road.

I picked up a couple things, and the checkout was done on some weird handheld instrument that barely worked, instead of a cash register. To use my credit card I had to try to sign my name with my finger(really) on the handheld in a screen the size of an old small cell phone. The traditional VeriSign terminal sat there unused. The prices were decent enough, but nothing special. Just no reason to ever go back.

41 posted on 03/02/2013 9:21:01 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: oh8eleven
Oh, but I do enjoy me some Grey Poupon every now and then. A good German mustard too.

Personally, I hate seeing any of these retail outlets go under. Just because I don't shop at JCP doesn't mean I want to see an American institution go out of business.

Unfortunately, I believe we will see more who will not survive fundamental transformation.

42 posted on 03/02/2013 9:21:04 AM PST by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

It’s a classic retail conundrum - do you try to move upscale or downscale?

Not many of the “in-the-middle” stores have survived. Sears and Woolworth’s were once in the DJIA as recently as the 1990’s. Now it’s Walmart.


43 posted on 03/02/2013 9:23:49 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
No individual consumer ever believes it is his or her personal responsibility to "Buy American". They approve of the concept in general, but when it is their dollars being spent, all of a sudden they want items priced at a level no American manufacturer can meet.

There's no way we could afford anything with a union label. (and no one really wants to support the union thugs, either).
Other nations don't have the high taxes, oppressive regulations, or additional union expences, so their products can be made cheaper and better. In todays economy, especially in the economy we have now, people can't afford anything else. (At this point, they really can't afford anything at all.)

Until America wakes up and becomes more business friendly, there aren't going to be any inexpensive products in the U.S. They've all been driven out.

44 posted on 03/02/2013 9:26:52 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: oh8eleven; riri

I bought a bunch of “Mister Mustard” on sale, but for my money it’s Kosciusko. If I’m in the mood to splurge, I get imported French (yeah, I know) Moutarde Forte.


45 posted on 03/02/2013 9:27:40 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

You’re absolutely correct.
And WM is feeling strong competition from Dollar General and Family Dollar even farther down the scale.

The MSM can talk all day about the “recovery” but the real world contradicts it.


46 posted on 03/02/2013 9:29:10 AM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: riri
Just because I don't shop at JCP doesn't mean I want to see an American institution go out of business.

It would take a wholesale change of leadership and philosophy to make it worth saving. A retro change. If they obstinately refuse to abandon their social progressivism, I won't miss them.

47 posted on 03/02/2013 9:33:08 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: oh8eleven; Mr. Jeeves
It's the American retailer who's to blame.

No it's not. They can only supply what they can get. The blame lies with the government which has chased the manufacturers out of this country.

48 posted on 03/02/2013 9:34:15 AM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: steve86
It would take a wholesale change of leadership and philosophy to make it worth saving. A retro change. If they obstinately refuse to abandon their social progressivism, I won't miss them.

Good point. It helps to know your market. And when looking to broaden that market, not to spit on the faces of those who have supported you for so many years. (which it appears they did).

49 posted on 03/02/2013 9:36:59 AM PST by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

I used to like Penney’s. I realize they’re trying to “update” and be PC; and if they depended on old fogies like me to keep them in business they’d be out of luck.

Last time I was in there, the racks and racks of cheap polyester imports overwhelmed me. Now, I mostly buy natural fiber clothes made in the US as much as I can. I buy an occasional leather handbag from Penneys. - Mostly, I mix and match, wear what I’ve got as long as it holds together and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve noticed local ads done by Ellen Degeneres haven’t been on here at least lately. I don’t begrude ED being in Penneys ads; but they need to recognize that not all, at least yet, of their customers are homosexuals.


50 posted on 03/02/2013 9:39:01 AM PST by Twinkie (JOHN 3:16)
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To: riri

Ron Johnson is truly the guy who was born on 3rd base and thought he hit a triple. Management hubris gone wild.

The destruction of shareholder value on his watch is astounding. He’s the Baraq Obama of the retail business.


51 posted on 03/02/2013 9:42:03 AM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: OpusatFR
Penny’s violated the first principle in business: KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS

That is so true.

I knew what JCP had and was so comfortable with certain lines of clothing, I just bought them online.

I bought clothes for the whole family there, usually online. Then they started dropping every single item I used to purchased.

They redesigned their clothing lines, and now, they don't sell a single thing I bought from them on a regular basis.

My sister noticed the same thing, and this was a few years ago that she "prophesied" they'd been out of business within a year or two.

52 posted on 03/02/2013 9:49:22 AM PST by memyselfandi59
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To: Sir Napsalot

The lesson is that every company in the world is no more than 5 bad decisions away from insolvency.


53 posted on 03/02/2013 9:55:20 AM PST by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: concerned about politics

“JC Penny used to be a family oriented store.”

They also put out a print “workwear” catalog, which I ordered from numerous times. Call in from the catalog, go to the store, pick it up.

That has disappeared — along with my orders there.


54 posted on 03/02/2013 9:56:32 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: dforest
Those sales and perks draw the customers in.

I agree. Penny's prices are very good. And if you "shop", you can get some incredble deals.

The problem with the model the Apple guy installed, and is still evolving, is getting the customer/shopper in the door.

The coupons and credit card holder specials used to bring me in (I'd stack up 2 or three coupons and get super buys).

People can't buy when they are not coming through the front door (save for on-line)

55 posted on 03/02/2013 9:58:50 AM PST by llevrok (Keep your arms out. It makes it harder for them to throw a net over you.)
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To: erod

.
.
.

More DC than AC?

Barack Hussein Skeeter-Obama

Discuss:

http://msntv.msn.com/Pages/News/Handler.ashx?url=http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/28/17136438-obama-administration-steps-into-california-gay-marriage-battle?lite

.
.
.


56 posted on 03/02/2013 9:59:56 AM PST by devolve ( ------------ ---It is not where Obama was born that is the problem - it is where he*s living now -)
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To: Sir Napsalot

“At best you could say that Johnson, who used to work for Target,”

These Target retreads are a loose cannon in the retail industry. A few years ago I hired on at Wal-Mart to earn some beer money. About that time they hired a bunch of these middle management Target ejecta, who immediately did away with the old blue vests that were paid for by W-M, replacing them with mandatory dress code of slacks and a T-shirts, paid for by the employees. W-M’s bottom line must have jumped at least 50 cents, while costing their employees some hard-earned dollars.

Just like liberal Californians moving to another state, these Target refugees try and implement their failed strategies in a new environment, again screwing things up in the process.


57 posted on 03/02/2013 10:11:18 AM PST by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Perdogg

As long as SEARS faithfully supports its parts and service operations, I will remain a loyal customer, regardless of its success in Mall-related retail operations.

I have saved way, way too much money buying parts for SEARS appliances I own to repair them. However, I will say this. I’ve recently taken to doing more investigation into cross-indexing parts and orginal manufacturers and finding the best buy online.

As far as Best Buy, they can suck it to the max. Apparently the CEO there must have been a prison guard somewhere. They are way too fond of DHS’ing everyone upon leaving the store. F@ck them.


58 posted on 03/02/2013 10:11:42 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: riri
Some smart advertising folks at Kohls.

The new thing is the in-store Kiosks....

50 years ago...they were big boards telling you where you were IN THE PLAZA..and how to get to whereever.

With their kiosks, Kohls has a catalog at your fingertips. It's just a great store with good stuff and good staff.

59 posted on 03/02/2013 10:14:54 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Gabz
It's the American retailer who's to blame. No it's not.
I already fixed the cause of the problem (or much of it) to NAFTA in another post.
But China is not the only country manufacturing goods. The retailers can buy from any other country if they so choose.
60 posted on 03/02/2013 10:19:26 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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