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.

Lisa CarverComment