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More “Recovery” As JC Penney Fires 2K

LAYOFFS, STORE CLOSINGS STRIKE ANOTHER AMERICAN RETAILER J.C. Penney will lay off 2,000 workers and close thirty-three stores across the county, the retail giant announced this week. The shuttering of nearly three percent of its stores (and 1.7 percent of its workforce) marks the first widespread closures initiated by J.C….

LAYOFFS, STORE CLOSINGS STRIKE ANOTHER AMERICAN RETAILER

J.C. Penney will lay off 2,000 workers and close thirty-three stores across the county, the retail giant announced this week.

The shuttering of nearly three percent of its stores (and 1.7 percent of its workforce) marks the first widespread closures initiated by J.C. Penney in over a dozen years – and will save the company an estimated $65 million in 2014.

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to re-examine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” the company’s CEO said in a statement.

Sheesh … really? Once … just once could one of these big shot executives come out and say “you know what? we didn’t do as well as we though we were going to do last quarter so we’re firing some people and closing some stores.”

Seriously … the store probably could have saved three or four of those jobs by dispatching the PR hacks who conjured up that little bit of verbal obfuscation.

Like Wall Street investors are going to look at anything beyond the raw numbers …

Anyway, J.C. Penney follows in the footsteps of Macy’s, which laid off 2,500 workers last week. Oh, and then there’s Sears.

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31 comments

euwe max January 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

It’s a good thing JC Penny doesn’t have to be responsible for their decisions.

Otherwise, I’d say they were incompetent.

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The Enquirer January 16, 2014 at 9:28 am

“It’s a good thing JC Penny doesn’t have to be responsible for their decisions.”

I don’t understand this comment. It seems they are suffering financially for management’s incompetence- could you explain?

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euwe max January 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

The implication is that it’s Obama’s fault – the “government run economy” did them in, not their relative performance in a competitive marketplace.

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The Enquirer January 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

So your comment was “tongue in cheek”? Sarcasm is so hard to detect in writing sometimes, though at times I’m as dull as a hammer.

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euwe max January 16, 2014 at 10:52 am

I expect too much from readers on average. I sometimes write like I’m writing to an audience that knows me well.

The Enquirer January 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

Well, with all the “thumbs up”, the reality is I probably should have caught it.

CNSYD January 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm

This is the free market. So what’s your complaint?

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west_rhino January 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The bail out of incompetence (or was that willful malpractice?) Harry Reid will manage to pick from my pockets, non?

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Smirks January 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm

They tried some different marketing direction with their pricing and stuff, guessing it didn’t work out for them. Live and learn.

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vicupstate January 16, 2014 at 8:56 am

Yeah, everybody that buys Apple products is gay.

And Republicans wonder why they can’t win any demographic besides grumpy old men

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GrandTango January 16, 2014 at 5:28 am

JC Penny made a ridiculous PR mistake by trying to force Gay-embracing ads on its clientele. It backfired miserably, and JC Penny tried to backtrack, but they were so offensive beforehand, and so much damage had been done, it was too late.

Kinda like the Duck Dynasty fiasco for A&E. I knew the public would slap the $#!* out of this radical NAZI-like leftwing extremism, I just did not know what would trigger it. But we’re beginning to see defense of decency by the people who build america, against those who tear it down….It’s why Obama’s numbers are so pathetically low.

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vicupstate January 16, 2014 at 8:58 am

Yeah, everybody that buys Apple products is gay.

And the Republican party wonders why they can’t win any demographic other than grumpy old men.

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GrandTango January 16, 2014 at 9:26 am

Do you deny that JC Penny pushed homosexual lifestyles (two dads for Father’s Day) in their ads, then had to fire the author of the strategy when it backfired on them???

Or will you just keep pumping your leftwing propaganda against the people you hate because they are not liberal radical extremists???

Remember: the “demographic has turned on Obama, once they figured out you are a bunch of F*#king liars…

PS: I’m probably younger than you…and if you’re male, you are far more an @$$-hole, like most dis-content liberals…..

Happy, contributing people, married and hetero, are far more likely to be Conservative…You are an idiot slave to the myths they feed their drones…

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Jay Ellington January 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

Liberals don’t need facts to argue their case.

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GrandTango January 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

As long as they keep rendering their businesses bankrupt, following Obama’s management style, I can live w/ it…

Once they get finished, they’ll be un-electable for the next 3 presidential terms…you can only lie and hide the truth for so long…it will be revealed, and hopefully set us all free from the hideous monster that has been eating us alive since Nov. 2008…

euwe max January 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

True. There’s no one to tell them to.

The Colonel January 16, 2014 at 5:29 am

The JC Penney/Sears/Montgomery Ward “all things to all people” store model is dead and has been dead for years. I have a “Monkey Ward” dorm refrigerator that’s at least 25 years old and still runs like a top. My favorite skeet gun is a Ted Williams Brand 20 gauge I got from Sears 38 years ago. However, the Monkey Ward store has been dead for 12 years, with it went Service Merchandise, Woolworth’s, Richway, GTX,
Treasure Island and a whole host of others – Sears and Jacque Pennee’ are bound
to follow sooner or later.

I worked at JC Penney in high school mostly to pay for tires for my “hand me down hot rod”. I worked in the sporting good department; we sold everything from baseball equipment to boats to guns. What does JC Penney sell now? Clothes, some shoes, a little jewelry and some novelties at Christmas – the same stuff a variety of other stores carry in better quantity, quality, variety and with better customer service. Who do they chose for a spokesperson? A lesbian. Nothing against Ellen but if you wanted to appeal to the broadest market possible would you choose her? “Hey Marv, I need some new flannel shirts and that there Ellen lady said JC Penney’s got some good stuff…”

Dumb marketing plans + “pie in the sky” business plan + dying market market share = business failure (and it would be true in a thriving economy).

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vicupstate January 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

The last paragraph says it all. They did it to themselves pure and simple. Stop blaming Ellen though. I don’t think I’ve even seen her ads. They were dying a slow death to begin with but Ron Johnson gave them the cyanide ‘cure’

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The Colonel January 16, 2014 at 9:27 am

I’m not really blaming Ellen – I’m blaming the decision process that led them to choose Ellen. Think about it, she couldn’t have been cheap and she is a polarizing figure to some, why risk it? That decision is indicative of Ullman’s actions of late. The reason you haven’t seen the ads is that the killed them.
If you look at the list of stores they’re closing (Centrist View posted it below), for the most part they’re in socially conservative areas like Lindor, NC. My first degree was in graphic arts – we were taught to always avoid controversial subjects for advertising unless the intent was to stir controversy or evoke emotion. Look at the advertising Belk uses, Jacque Penne’ is nothing more than a low end Belk these days.

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Interesting January 16, 2014 at 9:26 am

I think Sears is the most “saveable” of all of them.

Kenmore & Craftsmen tools…..those are two still powerful brand names….if only they had the proper brain trust.

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The Colonel January 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

I still use Craftsman wrenches but you couldn’t give me most of their power tools. Agreed that Kenmore is still a great brand.

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Interesting January 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

Yes, their power tools are crap for the most part. But their hand tool business is still potentially powerful.

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Norma Scok January 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

And if you can find an open Kmart or True Value hardware store, you can buy them there, too.

shifty henry January 16, 2014 at 9:30 am

The decline began when Sears, etc. discontinued home delivery of catalogs. The catalogs were like a symbol of trust between the retailers and their family customers. Several generations relied on them. For example, my grandparents (on my mother’s side) raised nine children on a very rural Alabama farm with no electricity or
indoor plumbing. Those catalogs, with their vacuum tube radio, were their contact with the “outside world.” The older catalogs were transferred to the out-house for “reading only.”

One of my Granddad’s stories was about the traveling salesman
who was stopped for blowing his horn at a pack of mules in the road and scaring them into the fields. The local constable immediately took the salesman before the magistrate who found him guilty. The magistrate closed his eyes, flipped the pages in a big book, and then placed his index finger on a spot on the page. “The fine is $1.35,” he
declares. Afterwards the salesman asks the constable, “What was that all about?

The constable tells him, “Well, you see, we’re too poor around here to have any law books, so we just use the Sears & Roebuck catalog. The magistrate closes his eyes, flips the pages, and the fine is whatever his finger lands on. You’re lucky he flipped to the pants page. If he had landed on the tractor parts page you might not have enough money to pay and you could have gotten ten
days on a road gang!”

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west_rhino January 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

How ’bout Monkey Wards…. oops long gone and allegedly Reagan’s fault.

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SCBlues January 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

A LESBIAN??? Shocking. How dare they and what did they expect and good for them that they are having to close a bunch of stores. And last time I went to JC Penney it was literally wall-to-wall LESBIANS and not a plaid flannel shirt left on the racks!

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Jay Ellington January 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

Mildly surprised the one at Sandhills in NE Columbia isn’t one of the closings. That outdoor shopping experience appears to be about 65% occupied, probably more like 45% if you count the residential units that have been sitting empty for 7 years.

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Ben_Kinlaw January 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

J.C. Penney Co., based in Plano, TX, said earlier this month it was pleased with its holiday results but declined to give sales figures, raising worries among Wall Street analysts about how the season actually fared.

This article references the cuts announced Wednesday should save more than $65 million annually. The company will take $26 million in pretax charges in the third quarter and $17 million in future quarters. Penney has 116,000 staffers and operates more than 1,100 stores. All the job cuts are related to the store closings.

Penney is expected to be among a number of stores that will be announcing it will be cutting staff and closing stores in the next few weeks. After the holiday season, stores typically re-evaluate their store fleet and announce job cuts and store closings. But analysts believe that after a tough holiday season where stores had to discount early and often to get shoppers to buy in a tough economy, the cuts will be deeper than normal.

Macy’s Inc., a standout among its peers, announced last week that it was cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization to sustain its profitability.

Ron Johnson most recently the CEO of J. C. Penney. Prior to that, he was the Senior VP of Retail Operations at Apple Inc, where he pioneered the concept of the Apple Retail Stores and the Genius Bar. Before Apple, Johnson was previously vice president of merchandising for Target and he also worked at Mervyns.

Due to his success at Apple and Target, Johnson was hired by J. C. Penney in November 2011, succeeding Mike Ullman who had served as CEO for the past 7 years.

Johnson’s failure to execute his transformation vision rebranding initiative from JCP’s store’s stodgy image and attract new customers, lead to one of the most aggressively unsuccessful tenures in retail history.

On April 8, 2013 he was fired as the CEO of J. C. Penney and replaced by his predecessor, Mike Ullman.[

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Centrist View January 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

“Like Wall Street investors are going to look at anything beyond the raw numbers …”

Kind of like American consumers don’t look at the tag to see where their garments are made: Far away places with funny sounding names. The number that consumers look at is cost, same as investors.

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Jackie Chiles January 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

None of the stores being closed are in SC. That’s some good news I guess.

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