It's True: JCPenney Is a Disaster
Matthew Yglesias pays a visit and finds all the bad reviews to be true
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2013 10:57 AM CST
In this 2006 file photo, a customer leaves a JC Penney Department store in Cupertino, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – JCPenney reported earnings this week that were so bad they boggle the mind, writes Matthew Yglesias in Slate. (Maybe the worst ever in retail?) The chain has been struggling to reinvent itself under the vision of Apple retail guru Ron Johnson, and Yglesias decided to visit a store himself to see if the bad press was exaggerated. Unfortunately not, he writes. Johnson has managed to drive away the chain's faithful customers of old—"somewhat square, lower-middle-class moms"—without bringing in new clientele.

Take the idea of doing away with sales. It's proven to be a bust, and JCPenney has had to backtrack with a return to "clearance" pricing. "A policy initially designed to imply that competitors were duping their customers has become the reverse," writes Yglesias. "Here was JCPenney explicitly telling you that the list price is the real price and you shouldn’t expect discounts, then down the aisle—discounts!" At best, Johnson has managed to make JCPenney a little more like Target in its bid for hipper shoppers. Trouble is, Target is better at being Target. Meanwhile, JCPenney's old clientele base has only expanded in the lousy economy, and they're going elsewhere. Click for the full column.

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boxcar
Mar 5, 2013 11:54 AM CST
IF you look for the good in a situation, you might find it- Nice thing about Pennys is there aren't that many customers- NO CROWDS so you don't have to fight your way thru a passel of multi-kid families standing in line Found out the $20 Arizona brand jeans fit me better than $28 Lees or $40 Levis and the $64 Levi 501s are a bit over priced. Watch for a sale & its $15 AZ so I pick up FOUR pair of AZ for what one 501 Levi costs- no contest on that
BenDunn
Mar 4, 2013 11:54 AM CST
Hip Crowd?? Welfare is HIP!!???
BenDunn
Mar 4, 2013 11:53 AM CST
JC Penney tried to entice the Hip crowd, Bu they forget the Hip crowd has no MONEY, They live off their Parents, grandparents, States and Fed government. Big mistake to try to get into the Hip crowd and get rid of your Faithful customers, The Square Moms, WITH THEIR OWN MONEY!!!