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The Company sells family apparel, jewelry, shoes, accessories and home furnishings to customers through department stores and Direct (Internet/catalog).
So JCP is going to follow the Apple Stoew model with more and better informed sales help? This is a strategy that is problematic. Yes, JCP can add clerks but will they be knowledgable about all the products in the store? Not the limited inventory to be found in an Apple store but thousands of clothing, jewelry, home products, and other items JCP carries? And will these clerks feel passionately that JCP's products are superior to those in other stores? And will customers suddenly think that shopping at JCP is an experience, that the products are special and worth more than similar things sold elsewhere. Does the name Penney's have status, or does it sound more like a place to shop for inexpensive but necessary items - like underwear and basic pieces of clothing? JCP stands for cheap and not so chic, even with an army of new clerks and the associated rise in overhead.
When is the last time you have been in a jcpenney store? Do you know MNG by Mango or Sephora? This is a taste of what is to come. Expect to see serious transformation as Ron Johnson, who is largely credited with the "cool factor" in Apple's stores, brought in a management team of former Apple and Target Corp. colleagues, and has already an exclusive deal with homemaking guru Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. New, exciting, and exclusive brands are what I feel are on the horizon for jcpenney. Transformation is not instant, but I expect Ron to move quickly. Steven Roth and Hedge Fund Investor Bill Ackman have proven track records and so does Ron.Johnson. I'm all in, but it's for the long term. I am vested and thrilled to watch it all unfold. jcpenney while considered by some to be a old dusty brand, is in for exciting times!
You're right, I have not shopped at JCP recently. It will take more than a few new brands to draw me into a store that is notorious for never having enough clerks and for stocking seriously uninteresting clothing. However, I hope you are right and Ron Johnson is able to remake the store's image. I would hate to see yet another department store go away. The brand is dusty but even worse blowing away the dust may reveal a lump of residual downmarket boring. Penney's HAS always been a reliable source of reasonably priced basics, such as underwear, button down shirts, and children's pajamas. They sell a lot of these kind of items, so much so, someone you know probably has one just like anything you purchase at JCP! The store would need a lot of expensive changes including new buyers, an army of additional clerks, lots of advertising, remodeling, a bigger and better online presence, in order to refresh itself. Anything is possible and I wish all involved the best but for now I will invest elsewhere. :)
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