Could J.C. Penney Soon Close For Good?

That’s the takeaway from The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin, who wrote that the new CEO of the Plano-based retailer and former Apple retail head Ron Johnson is removed from the realities of the company:

…Mr. Johnson has sought to remake the company quickly, perhaps too quickly, by eliminating promotions and discounts, moving the stores more upscale, rebranding the company as JCP and putting in place a “fair and square” pricing model. (J.C. Penney is, however, putting on a special sale for the holidays.)

Yet the renovations are hardly finished – or in some cases even started. Only 11 percent of its stores’ floor space has been remodeled with his successful specialty-store-within-a-store concept, in which he has opened up outposts for brands like Levi’s, Izod, Liz Claiborne and the Original Arizona Jean Company.

J.C. Penney may have been dying a slow death before Mr. Johnson’s arrival – some rivals used call it “death by coupon,” given the retailer’s penchant for discounts – but the company’s decline has only accelerated.

Then where am I going to get my Arizona jeans?


  • deweast

    NY Times is still unhappy with JCP for leaving NYC, so don’t expect any balanced appraisal of Penny’s transition or current status. There is no question Johnson’s strategy is risky, but the verdit will not be in for at least another year. Re-inventing an enterprise as large and spread out as JCP is a lengthy work in progress and that process is still ongoing. The Times is just ready to put the estranged JCP headquarters into bankruptcy because after leaving Manhattan, they ran off to Texas where cowboys run the show. How much more upsetting can it get….

  • Cole Daugherty

    Here’s all I need to know to make a decision on JCP’s efforts: “In the stores that have been transformed, J.C. Penney is making $269 in sales a square foot, versus $134 in sales a square foot in the older stores.” That’s impressive. Will there be the patience to weather the continuing bad numbers? I don’t know but I think the alternative was worse: to die a slow death under a mountain of dizzying promotions and homogenous merchandise inside stale stores.

  • Avid Reader

    Just delaying the inevitable. Wonder if those stores that have already been remodeled and being touted as making $269 per sqft verse $134 were the top earning locations in the first place…

  • Bob Loblaw

    I felt bad about never going into JCP, so I stopped into the new one on Northwest Highway near Skillman. Without going into tedious detail, it was a bad shopping experience. I couldn’t find anyone in the store to direct me, the checker was too busy on her cell phone to bother with me, and the prices weren’t great. Plus the guard directly inside the door reminds me of Walmart’s old “treat every customer like a potential criminal” policy. I like to support a local company, but I saw no reason to rush back.

  • mynameisbill

    All I can think about is the sweet deals i’ll receive during the going out of business sale, when those rad american flag w/eagle polo shirts and pleated stretch waist khaki pants, are mine for the taking. Hells yeah!

  • Seven

    Swap Johnson and Mike Miles and see which turns around faster, JCP or DISD.