A mess! I never understood what they were doing going into appliances and I do not think they did either. The original "We have appliances since Sears is gone" was okay, and then -- nothing -- no advancement of that narrative! Likely simply a comfort spot for Mr. Ellison. Good riddance to appliances. However....
(And I really like JCP. I shop them for much of my business clothing.)
None of this matters. Their unsustainable debt load is going to kill them! I am very afraid that the debt will disallow any real change through the starving of operative cash! We are already watching this -- Painful!
This is an early implementation. Let us face facts. Eventually there will only be robots and they will replace associates. I do not know what all these people are going to do once robots have taken all their jobs.
The future is rapidly approaching and companies will save money. We need to think of the personnel expense. Someone has to think about that because money will be saved, yet what of the humans?
Hopefully we will be able to solve this and have robots both benefit us and save money, but will we need work to make money to buy the food the robots are selling?
Umm -- their day was done several years ago. Every younger person I know, when asked if they would go holiday shopping, looked at me kind-of sideways....
Search engines, predominantly Amazon, allow purchase from your home in your pajamas having your own coffee with unlimited selection, with the TV streaming You Tube or sports on Apple TV. Why would they get dressed, drive, park, perhaps pay for parking, fight the crowds, fight for attention from limited overworked untrained and possibly disinterested sales staff? Are you kidding?
Is there ANY way to compete with the search engine?
We have forgotten the show and we have bottom line pencil pushers only looking to save money. Sometimes it costs money to make money!
When I lived in Chicago, every Saturday, I got up early and took the EL into the Loop and spent the morning at Marshall Field & Company. The selection was unparalleled, the staff were trained, knowledgeable and excellent, and the store had several floors that morphed and changed as seasons changed. A cute young lady would hand out samples of that seasons flavor of Frango mints, I would dine at the Walnut room or more likely enjoyed a great meal of homemade style food at the Marketplace in the stores' lower level. (I particularly liked the meatloaf and mashed potatoes!) On any regular weekend it was fun and well worth the trip every time. At holiday season it was magical and even more spectacular. This was not 1976 -- it was 2000-2001 and-2005-2006.
In the future, someone with a vision and smart enough to read history may open a store like that in some big city and perhaps it will be great. I think Nordstrom has hit on a future relevance with its experience store in the Los Angeles area. But as for the regular outpost of any name you want to throw out, I think, unfortunately, it is simply time -- until they are no longer.
I hope they try anything and everything that they can afford to, and give it some time to succeed in the chosen stores where they are experimenting with "X." We must give Ms. Soltau a little time. Hopefully, steady, small continuous steps will create a forward path!
My biggest concern is that the darn debt will kill them! There is no getting around that. They were left cash starved after Mr. Johnson, and that situation has become worse. And the debt is formidable and terrible.
I am biased; I really like Stafford and buy a lot of my work clothes and clothes in general at Penney's, at my JCP. They have nicer selection than everyone's favorite -- Kohl's.
I wish them the best and I remain worried for their demise. The debt is the biggest problem ---it takes away their time.
This is a mess and I did not think the acquisition was a good one for Dollar Tree in 2014. Family Dollar has a big problem with its identity. People see Dollar General as far better if you ask random shoppers in front of either store.
The mention of a new brand is good. Cherry pick the best locations of Family Dollar and transform those to your new brand with a store renovation and re-merchandising. That is expensive, but will utilize good locations that Dollar Tree already has in its control.
As for the remaining Family Dollar stores, I would let them limp along as long as they pay their way and if there is a problem, close the location. Family Dollar does give Dollar Tree an entry into the more than one dollar price business, which may become very important into the future.
The younger generation will never miss the closed flagship stores and will also never know what they were or what they meant. And what they were and what they meant no longer applies either. The restaurants, service, extensive and extended offerings at the flagships have lost all meaning in today's world, where anything can be found online and delivered to your door. The online portal -- the search engine is the new flagship -- not even a specific store, because it is all there. However the sights and smells and service and attention, the fancy boxes and bags, the feeling and the experience of the former flagship store ... that is not available online and that is a sad thing to lose. Ralph Lauren has Madison and the Gap flagship really was not. However, with the demise of L&T and 5th Avenue, we see disappearing one of the last and final representatives of what was. (L&T was the last carriage trade store of American history!)
In the glory days, 5th Avenue was lined with incredible flagship stores that were amazing places to experience -- L&T, B. Altman, Bonwit Teller ... All amazing places. And before my time, Arnold Constable and Best & Co. And there was Franklin Simon ("A Store of Individual Shops"). They were amazing places, but their time has passed. Thank goodness Saks is still there -- and Bergdorf's.
New retailers will head to 5th Avenue in the desire to be in that important place, as it always has been. It will be different, but there is nothing that stays the same. I am simply happy that I was able to experience the end of the "glory" of the American department store. It is not necessary anymore.
However, if you make your store an experience and a pleasure -- even today -- you can be a destination, drive sales, and can remain relevant (Nordstrom, Von Maur). Today we have businessmen and retailers, but we have lost the art of being a merchant -- and we have lost the "show."
How out of touch and disingenuous of the ILSR. Ridiculous.
For people struggling and living paycheck to paycheck, and trying to make rent and put food on the table -- and there are a lot of people in that situation -- dollar stores provide a small respite. Those low prices and "cheap" goods might provide a mom with the opportunity to have a pack of cookies in the house for the week, or splurge and try a different color of nail polish, for example. To place blame on these retailers for doing what they set out to do? Again, ridiculous. If you personally do not want to live near one of these stores, move.
This is simply another option for purchase.
There will probably always be stores with merchandise and someone who wants it now will go there, and a lot of people will not want to carry stuff around so this showroom store will work well for that. Perhaps it will be the future model, but there will be some person who has a store where you buy it and carry it away! Maybe someday that will be the special place -- actually take the item with you instead of waiting for delivery!
Kohl's is definitely not a department store, or at least, not a traditional one. Perhaps Kohl's is what will survive after poor JCP (sorry, personal bias -- I really am rooting for JCP), and even Macy's are long gone.
Kohl's has great management, and the ability to think different is such an advantage. I think the hookup with Amazon will be right in the long run, and the space leasing to Aldi -- genius.
Also, there are a lot of people these days who do not want to go into the mall. I have interviewed a number of people who go into an anchor, then leave, and drive around to another anchor and go in there. Kohl's avoids all that.
And I Agree with Mr. Riley -- they are in the niche that could have been JCP.
And as Ms. Bender noted, their rewards have created a very loyal and satisfied group of customers who love to tell you how great the rewards are -- "Kohl's Cash, Kohl's Cash, Kohl's Cash!" People L O V E it!
Their rewards, convenience, clean and easy stores, and above all of that (or because of all of that), their attention to the customer, as Mr. Sward said, has propelled them into a true "class by themself"!
I AGREE with Mr. Naumann and Mr. Sundstrom -- debt killed Bon-Ton. I am afraid to say that I believe Bon-Ton was doomed, but the debt burden hastened the inevitable. Also the two combos are so different. Macy's (Federated morph) and May were the majors combining and adding incredible management teams and some amazing location opportunities. Bon-Ton Saks Northern group was a combo of potential difficulties.
This actually might have worked because in reality, a lot of Bon-Tons were in underserved locations and without the debt service, maybe it would have worked. The two mergers, however, are very, very different. Perhaps Bon-Ton didn't feel that they had a choice given the pressures for size and scale, but they were unable to take full advantage of their increased size.
Still I believe a lot of that has to deal with the debt (that at times, and in the end, must have loomed large, and did, like a large brick wall casting shadows before it falls). Also as noted, Goliath bought David.
I always thought it was interesting (having watched from the outside) Mr. Martin working so hard to put together a group of stores as he did, with Parisian as the "premiere property" only to seemingly happily jettison the whole deal, and more than a decade of hard work -- after acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue. I always thought that was very telling.
Sad, but I think the tumult is far from over.
I feel badly because I genuinely like JCPenney. Call me old fashioned but I like their pants and their shirts are great for me for work.
Unfortunately in this new world of online buying, I think there is only room for one true success in middle road. Bon Ton will soon be history. Kohl's is "Terrific" and can seemingly do no wrong -- they will survive. Macy's will survive because of its size, as it fumbles around with complete lack of identity. JCPenney I am afraid may not be able to overcome the burden of the debt load they carry. I hope I am wrong and they too are able to survive!
Unfortunately I think the true survivor of this segment is only Kohl's. (And 95% of the malls are irrelevant and have really become awful places.) I am afraid that it may be very sad to watch this play out.
Thanks for the ability to weigh in!
I agree, in that I applaud them in the attempt. However, like others, I cannot imagine the shrink nightmare that this must bring! It is just a failure of humanity in that some will want, and take full advantage of the "five finger discount" -- and use it again and again.
Call me cynical, but a LOT of merch is going to walk out without any payment.
Really sorry here, off topic. However, in 2005, the May Company stores that were converted in 2006 to Macy's, those to MY personal knowledge -- including MANY throughout the chain (L S Ayers, Kaufmanns, Hechts, Strabridges, Famous Barr) -- were in good to beautiful condition. Macy's challenges and difficulties in ability to do upkeep, has left them as the "dumps" we now find. (That is simply not fair to May Company Department Stores)
This will definitely offer a solution to some of the large empty space in certain malls in certain locations, especially given that Millennials seem to want experience and not tangible "things" so much. In a lot of locales in what coasters want to call flyover country, however, this might not be an answer. There are seemingly many things now being tried in empty spaces at malls all over --this food hall concept is a great opportunity for SOME locations.
Let us face the hard cold reality that there is simply WAY TOO MUCH retail space, and a lot of that space is not going to be fillable. I think a LOT of grade "B" malls are going to require re-development (i.e. tear them down).