I wrote off jcpenney a while ago. About a year and a half ago, I stopped by one just to see what my options were in the clothing department; I’d received a gift card and needed to use it. I walked away very unimpressed. The store was a mess (not like Kohl’s, which perpetually looks like my son has reorganized every rack), selection was lousy, and the clothes were not great quality-wise. I don’t expect a lot, but jcpenney somehow lowered my expectations even more.
But when Ron Johnson, Apple’s retail genius, became their CEO lots of people started paying attention. Things started changing. They dropped all of their stupid sales and coupons. They rounded pricing to the nearest dollar. They invested in better marketing. And their stores cleaned up a bit – they’re not perfect, but they’re already better.
The quality of clothing and stuff is still a question, but when it’s a pair of Levi’s – the same anywhere – I’ll choose jcpenney.
The icing on the cake, though, was in this month’s circular. There, pictured with other families for Mother’s Day, was a lesbian couple with their kids. They didn’t make a big deal of it – they simply showed a strong family unit. It’s awesome. Coupled with the way they handled complaints from ass-backward groups who thought Ellen Degeneres was a poor spokesperson for them, this is a big win.
So in short, they’re winning over my brain and my heart. That’s pretty impressive. I’m willing to give them my money.
Posted in Consumer Commentary