J. C. Penney Resurrection?
|Can J. C. Penney reclaim their friendly appeal?|
J. C. Penney used to be one of those places where parents dressed kids, where I bought pet fish and the place had a friendly feel to it. They sold model airplanes, and you could always find cool stuff there. It was more like a friendly WalMart than what it became. A lot of the people who worked there were over fifty and knew the product lines. Sort of like asking mom, dad or grandma for advice.
Then it became modern, customer service VANISHED and they started selling junk. To walk into a J. C. Penney was to walk into a mess. The tables were inevitably heaped with merchandise that resembled a rummage sale. The clothing, while priced cheaply, was inevitably the worst available. I'm not accusing them of selling seconds as firsts, but I wouldn't be surprised. Finding somebody to ring you up proved to be a challenge. A diligent search would find a malingering hector in a corner, folding something over and and over in an attempt to look busy.
J. C. Penney followed Sears into oblivion. When that happens, you can only blame one group -- management. The fish rots from the head down.
Now, J. C. Penney is asking for forgiveness on social media. They claim to have cleaned up their act and are a completely new store. (Forbes) And they are re-shuffling and re-re-shuffling CEO's to try and keep from closing their doors.
I don't work in the retail merchandising business. However, I am a consumer. And there is a world of difference between going into a store where employees are normally treated decently (Nordstrom) and where 18 year-olds are making minimum wage and are getting 16 hours a week to work in the store (Macys). In the case of Nordstrom, where I shop, employees seem happier to be there an willing to help. Macys is another line of stores that are in decline. In the local Macys they turned off half of the lights to save energy. Are times that tough? What do they pay the CEO and gilded staff? Maybe cut that in half, make the place more pleasant and everything would improve (and you can give the boss his princely pay back)?
All retailers are suffering. Nordstrom is always threatening to close despite superior customer service. Macys is a dump and I refuse to shop there (as do many) primarily because of the sales staff. And I have family members working at Macys - you'd think that I'd buy there. Will J. C. Penney cut the legs from their competition? There is room to do that. How do you do it. Make it a place that people are comfortable with (and no, you don't need to sell tropical fish to accomplish that).
They appear to be trying to be successful. This is a good step. J. C. Penney Facebook