Over-stored or Under-utilized? J.C. Penney’s Scale Fail

Carol Spieckerman comments on today’s Retail Wire discussion: Penney says turnaround takes hold, ends monthly sales reports.

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"Over-stored" is a relative proposition in these omni-channel days. J.C. Penney was one of the first (if not the first) retailers to hit $1 billion in e-commerce sales a few years back but since then, its e-commerce mojo has slipped right alongside its struggling stores. Like Walmart, Target, Macy's and other large-scale retailers, Penney's big opportunity is to leverage its physical scale to drive omni-channel sales.

A recent site-to-store attempt with Penney was a disaster. My order was in the record, yet nowhere to be found in the back room. Store associates seemed overwhelmed and unprepared to facilitate site-to-store orders. If this is the current omni-channel standard at Penney, store closings may make sense. If Penney straightens things out, physical scale could be its killer advantage.

Check out the article and discussion on Retail Wire.