Review: JC Penney checks itself before it wrecks itself
|JCP copied Target by going after hot highend designers like Lulu Guinness (her bags for JCP pictured here) to collaborate on lines. This is works for Target because they do limited time offers on brands and move on to the next one. This creates demand for pieces the average shopper wouldn’t buy if they were offered all the time.|
|Store-in-store concept works for Macy’s so JCP started doing it too. The difference? In Macy’s you can’t walk more than a couple of feet without running into an employee and a register. At JCP, you can never find anyone to help you or ring up your stuff.|
Moms out here in the ‘burbs need work clothes and/or nice and easy-to-wear separates and dresses to mix and match when we take our kids to school every day. We need comfortable but nice-looking outfits for our kids’ sports events and games, parent-teacher meetings and play dates. We need clothes to wear to go out to eat with our families, to visit our in-laws, to coffee with our friends, to the grocery store. We need solids and safe prints. We professional clothes if we work outside of the home or hold positions in our communities. We don’t need bold cuts and trendy patterns. We need conservative cuts that don’t accentuate our post-baby tummies or show-off that weird jiggling fat we are starting to get under our arms. Maybe we even need a good classic workout line to wear to our exercise classes that is easy-to-wear and affordable but looks like Lululemon? We need classically-constructed dresses that aren’t going to allow our boobs to fall out when we are chasing our runaway toddler down the aisle at the market. We need clothes for our whole families that suit the typical American lifestyle. We need rites-of-passage clothes like our son’s first dress suit. We need everyday items we buy again and again like dress shirts for our husbands. We need inexpensive starter jewelry for our daughters.
|501 Jean Bar is a bad idea because there needs to be a knowledgeable employee there. If we wanted to interface with a computer, we could stay home and order online from our desktop, phone or Ipad.|
About the brands: The average mom who shops at JCPenney isn’t primarily there for brands. She probably has a budget and won’t shop by brand unless that brand has proven that it works for her lifestyle like St. John Bay so it becomes a ‘go-to’ brand. When I go to JCPenney it’s price and function first, brand name last. A brand will become popular with me if their clothes work for me, not the other way around. I believe the reason Target has had massive success with brands is because they have limited offerings for each trendy designer brand they collaborate with. That means something new from a different brand is always coming down the pipeline. This creates a sense of urgency. Moms go in there and binge-shop because we know once something is gone it’s gone forever. JCP should offer limited-time collections too.