Posted on June 14, 2013
After an abysmal year of sales, operational shakeups and rebranding in 2012, one of 10 big brands predicted to fail in 2014, JCPenney, is on it’s last leg.
We all remember getting the phone-book sized catalog in the mail when we were young, getting awkward family photos at the photo center, and school shoe shopping when September would roll around. But the international chain, founded in Wyoming over 110 years ago, has had it’s fair-share of hardships over the years. Throughout the 90′s and 2000′s, JCP has tried many tactics to attract customers, such as opening stand alone stores outside of malls, catalog stores, stores-within-store concepts, and even discount centers.
Though they reside in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, JCP has failed to attract new customers. Making a controversial move in 2012, JCP slashed the use of coupons, one of its main attractions to the baby-boomer generation, and introduced “every day” pricing, offering their lowest price on display at all times.
The rise in quality of clothing from competitors, such as Macy’s, Target and other big-box retailers, to Amazon pricing everyone out of the market, has done its fair-share of damage to the brand. Some stores reported a Q4 2012 loss as much as 32% from a year before.
For an American institution like JCPenney to bounce back from such adversity, it would truly be an American underdog story. However, with their lack of popular brands, offering brands consumers don’t want, unattractive stores and declining numbers of the baby-boomer generation, JCP has one foot in the grave and not much to hang onto.