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The days of shopping at department stores may not have completely come to an end, but with Amazon and other online retailers at your fingertips, it certainly has slowed a bit.
One of the latest stores to be affected is JCPenney, which recently announced that it plans to close 130-140 stores in 2017, citing online competition as the reason for its financial struggles.
“During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company’s growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment,” said Marvin Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney, in a press release.
“We believe the relevance of our brick-and-mortar portfolio will be driven by the implementation of these initiatives consistently to a larger percent of our stores. Therefore, our decision to close stores will allow us to raise the overall brand standard of the company and allocate capital more efficiently.”
In other words, the JCPenney stores that are succeeding are those with strong beauty, home and plus-size sales, and the stores that are closing—for whatever reason—were not as successful.
With this plan in place, the focus is on the shopping experience, which is, of course, crucial to competing with online retailers. If it’s more enjoyable to go into a JCPenney store, more people are likely to do it.
There’s got to be something about the retailer that trumps the convenience of shopping online, so as far as this company’s plan to thrive in 2017 is concerned, they seem to have a good strategy in place.
Along with the 130-140 stores, the company is also closing two distribution facilities. The distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, is set to close in early June, and the second closure will take place in Buena Park, California, according to the press release.