What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

J.C. Penney tries to freshen up with ‘Joe Fresh’

Bill Zeeble Mar 14, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

J.C. Penney tries to freshen up with ‘Joe Fresh’

Bill Zeeble Mar 14, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

J.C. Penney needs something to change its momentum. More than a year ago, the retail giant dropped sales and coupons in exchange for everyday low pricing. Since then, it has lost $1 billion and laid off 20,000 workers.
 
“They’ve lost 30 percent of their business. It’s just gone away,” says Ed Fox, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University who tracks J.C. Penney. “That’s an incredible hurdle for a retailer to try to clear.”
 
He says Joe Fresh has sold well for Penney online and may work in stores. But by the time Penney fully implements its store-in-a-store plan, it may be too late.

Gabriella Santaniello, a retail analyst at Wedbush Securities, says Penney needs the fashion-conscious customer it’s targeting because it has left its middle and lower income core out to dry.
 
“While they’re trying to court a younger consumer, a hipper consumer, they’re forgetting this moderate customer, Santaniello says. “They’ve brought in these hip cool brands which, at the end of the day, the consumer who has been shopping J.C. Penney is not really going to identify with.”
 
Santaniello and Fox say that leaves the chain in a sort of no man’s land, with confused customers who don’t know who J.C. Penney is anymore.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.