JCPenney's Turnaround Strategy Leaves Out Its Only Hope For Success

jcpenney co.

Photo: Chris Chan on Flickr

JCPenney burning through resources to pull off a turnaround. With same store sales down 32 per cent, its running out of time. 

But even when completed, JCPenney’s boutiques and low prices won’t bring people back to its stores, consumer service expert and bestselling author Grant Cardone told us. 

Because customers don’t feel welcome in JCPenney stores, they aren’t compelled to come back, Cardone said. 

“What good do these shops do the customer if no one is there to greet you?” Cardone asked. “Their strategy uses gimmicks which have been used over and over.” 

The marketing, while “brilliant,” is too similar to Target’s, Cardone said. 

Trying to draw customers in using price isn’t effective either. The company did away with sales and did a marketing campaign advertising that it had the lowest prices, though it’s since backpedaled

“It’s not sustainable and doesn’t encourage loyalty in any way,” Cardone said. “If the customer is chasing the lowest price, they’re going to go away when they find a lower one.”

Johnson has also said that he’d like to get rid of the person working the cash register, and will move toward iPads and self checkout by the end of this year. 

But JCPenney’s only hope is improving customer service by investing in employee training, compensation, and culture, Cardone said.  

“Right now, customers don’t have confidence in the company to provide good service,” Cardone said. “JCPenney is now merely reduced to advertising, marketing and branding and abandoned the customer service and sales experience.”

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