JCP Plans Aggressive Growth

JCPenney has an aggressive five-year growth strategy that focuses on further enhancement of its: dot com, mobile and social networking media; improving productivity in lagging product areas; and attracting more of the consumer base that is 25 to 44 years old with the goal of hitting $23 billion by 2014.

At the company's annual analyst meeting here last week, Myron (Mike) Ullman III, chairman and ceo, outlined specific targets designed to achieve these goals: stepping up style across the board; digital marketing, leadership development and an expansion of its exclusive in-store Sephora departments — identified as “accelerate” goals.

The company's five-year agenda is centered on a new look in attitude — primarily offering style and quality at a “killer price,” Ullman said.

At the same time, the company has identified two other categories for performance and emphasis: “moderate” — which involves inventory, SG&A, Cap-Ex reflected in the diminished store opening program especially; and “maintain,” which includes customer experience, brand launches, newness and merchandise flow.

Overall, Ullman said the company's objectives are “five, five, five” which is a five-year plan, an additional $5 billion in sales, and $5 for EPS.” As part of the campaign there is a major effort to attract the younger customer — a situation that will affect the merchandise assortments and marketing across the board.

The sales growth will be primarily organic, Ullman stated. Over the next few years, there will be few new store openings, with remodels the key for the first years of the plan. The company is planning for a growth to 119 million feet from 111 square feet.

“It's a new day at JCPenney, not just in our advertising our attitude and approach to growing the business,” Ullman remarked.

The Manhattan store in New York has been performing exceptionally well and, along with the Queens and Bronx locations, ranks among the company's Top 4, along with the store in Puerto Rico. Interestingly, the Manhattan store consumer —unlike the other New York area stores — demands a smaller size range in clothing and is a younger consumer than the typical Penney customer.

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