Alice sent a message to Marvin R. Ellison – President of J. C. Penney Company Inc.- email address that said:
In an effort to get sales numbers up you have introduced appliances. Good idea but just copies Sears. Are you being retro in your imaging? Hope not.
I believe the approach to improving JCP is to establish unique identity both online and in store. My suggestion is to change image of clothing retailer into "clothes that fit" and concentrate on a single market....the overweight.
Clothes are offered in just about every store for the thin, the slim, but rarely the overweight. And what is offered for the overweight is shameful. Plus sizes are usually shown in rather small (ha, ha) space areas of retail store if at all. But regardless, the size, the design and fashion styles are awful.
So, here is my proposal. Redesign your store to fit the "mass" audience. Offer weight clinics for obese and diabetics and exercise programs designed to fit that dress in say 3 months. Offer a "JCP card for perfect fit" [use the card to help salesperson find the clothes to fit..but before that can be done, know the sizing of the clothes...nothing worse than bringing in lots of clothing and simply find nothing that fits]. Even consider monthly fee for unique services. Take measurements of your customers and simply text, call, email when new merchandise arrives that will fit those measurements. Take on logo "We want you, the customer, to fit fabulously and we are there for the journey".
My background was financial, both in the brokerage field, the banking field....and even with Federated ages ago when POS was beginning. I am not seeking a job, just want JCP to rebrand itself and be unique.
I have had retail experience and will share just one story at a small individually owned retail store I worked part-time. Before taking on PT employment I asked a small retailer if I could use store for trunk sales on Sunday, a day they were closed (for work on commission of sales) and was told no, but job offer was made. After working awhile at the shop, the owner stated she was heading to wholesale shopping trip and I told her I believed sales could improve with certain changes and she said go ahead if she could make money. With that info I told other sales people to change store window display, revamp items in store by size, move jewelry and bags where they could be paired with clothing next to cash register for that last minute purchase and get all summer wear from back out in front (February in AZ). [ok, nothing new with that approach except that this store owner did not understand sales.] The response was great. Spouses dragging spouses into store. Kept having to call back storeroom to bring more clothing out...sales through the roof! Owner came back (Feb 14) and at about 10pm at night she called me to say how upset she was that I changed store. She did not care that basically all new merchandise was sold out and she fired me. I said to her if I am being fired over tremendous sales, then I would not have wanted to be an employee. Clearly she did not understand the life of apparel.
My point, JCP is missing opportunity. And while appliances may help the curious buyer ...buy.... really what does that say. You are either not destined to be in retail clothing or that you are searching for any buyer even if it is in appliances.
My proposal is to do where "no wo/man has been before". Get real, see what size your customer really is and get the merchandise to the store. Customize to fit or at least know the merchandise fit. But most importanly, know the size your customer fits. After all, the fit determines the sale.
I hope that in recreating JCP that you can recreate a unique place in retail. Perhaps even bring back dining (remember LordTaylor NYC?). Only offer healthy and affordable meals designed to help the overweight lose those extra pounds. After all, it is all about the retail experience for the buyer. Offer incentives....free clothes for achieving goals! After all, what better way to increase sales than to create new sizes to fit.
I am not a customer at JCP. I do not like the image of low cost clothing and I do not like the image of a "penn"e"y". Think renaming would go long way to improving sales.
I am simply a concerned customer. No store really offers the customer true customer sizing, meaning, if the clothes dont fit, then the customer walks. After all, isnt that the real problem?