Penny was on top of the catalog market when Sears closed down their catalog business in 1993 Jacques 2014). However, in 2012 J Penny's sales fell to 32 percent; making this the worst quarterly performance in the history of retail (Imitation 2013). Some would ask, what happened to America's favorite retail store chain? Many people speculate on J Penny's crisis. Some would say that J Penny was beat out by other low end retailers like Wall-Mart or Kohl's. Competition could be one of reasons why J Penny is doing poorly, but the biggest reason why J Penny s a failing company is because they have lost their identity.
Imitation stated in his article, What Went Wrong At J. C. Penny? "Most striking, if you look at J. C. Penny over the long term, it seems to me that they have lost their identity' (Imitation 2013). For many years, J Penny was known for being a department store for middle-income families. However, when J Penny started to adding companies within their stores and began targeting higher income customers their business suffered Jacques 2014). In order for J Penny to become successful business again, they need to get back to basics. They need to embrace James Cash Penny's belief in being an honest business that respects its customers.
J Penny needs to campaign their store to be for the middle-class and get rid of the other companies in the store to gain their identity back. Who is the target customer? J Penny was known to be a great American retail chain that used to cater to middle-class families. J Penny tried to recreate themselves as a high end retail store which failed Jacques 2014). Middle-class families that once shopped at J Penny were turned away by high prices and services like a nail salon (Imitation 2013). The families that used to shop at J Penny now turn to retailers like Target and Kohl's (Imitation 2013).
J Penny needs to go back to their target group and get rid of all the unnecessary things like nail salons and sale strategies. J Penny needs to use direct marketing techniques to get middle-class families back in their stores. Direct marketing techniques will help J Penny get immediate response from their middle- class target and establish a lasting customer relationship with them (Kettle, Philip, and Gary Armstrong 2013). What is the message? The message that J Penny needs to communicate to their target group is that they are a store for middle-class families.
J Penny needs to change their strategy and send a message to attract new middle-class families to come to America's most loved retail store. J Penny can do this by marketing what James Cash Penny believed in respecting customers and creating an honest company. How does our target currently perceive us? Many people believe that J Penny is old and out dated. In the article, Can J. C. Penny Be Saved? Maven stated "J. C. Penny needs to become a shopping destination hat will transfix its customers and its balance of merchandise must be designed to attract new customers" (Maven 2014).
In order to save the J Penny brand, they need to change the way they approach the middle-class. Middle-class families want style and variety (Maven 2014). J Penny needs to change their store to appear to families like adding toy section or electronics area in the store (Maven 2014). In the past, J Penny offered more than Just clothes and house hold goods. J Penny needs to bring back the basics again in order to compete with stores like TX Max and Kohl's. How would we like the target to perceive us? J Penny wants to be perceived as an honest and trustworthy store.
They also want to be seen as a stylish store. However, they failed to look honest and trustworthy when they tried to attract wealthier people to their stores. J Penny needs to update their stores with more departments to attract customers who want more variety at a department store. Maven suggests in his article, Can J. C. Penny Be Saved, that J Penny should create more departments like a toy section near the children's looting department and an electronic department to bring more money in the company (Maven 2014).
These departments can be very helpful in boosting sales especially during the holidays. If J Penny wants to turn their business around they need to offer customers more chooses while still stay with today's styles. When will the message be delivered? J Penny should start to market their message as soon as possible. J Penny needs change, the business is failing. However, they should not try to make all of the changes at once. A little at a time will help people adjust to the new changes. Where will the message be delivered?