What Is Going On With J.C. Penney?

What Is Going On With J.C. Penney?

There are 81 comments on the Seeking Alpha story from Apr 17, 2013, titled What Is Going On With J.C. Penney?. In it, Seeking Alpha reports that:

J.C. Penney is looking for a major comeback with a new CEO in place. The U.S. retail giant recently borrowed $850 million from its revolving credit facility.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Seeking Alpha.

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#43 Apr 23, 2013
Jvette: Yes, I do the sign out and in trick too. I never had anyone actually tell me to do that, I just started doing it. I am not sure what you mean by "the timer" Do you mean when it starts beeping towards the end of the power? I don't set that, it just happens. I start hearing this beeping sound in my pocket and then realize that it is time to charge up. I am curious though as to what you mean by the five minutes.

Yea, it is easier to have an understanding customer for an ICAP delay then it is for a POS.

We were told some weeks back that they were going to stop giving direct training on the Libbys because they felt the best way to learn was to use them. I think they were right for many of the employees. I still see some of the older employees struggling with the use. Most did not get "formal" training when we first got them and are trying to use them later in the game.
jcp team member

Miami, FL

#44 Apr 24, 2013
when is jcpenney getting a pricing team back we need that team to help are store
Jvette

Las Vegas, NV

#45 Apr 24, 2013
JCPTM wrote:
Jvette: Yes, I do the sign out and in trick too. I never had anyone actually tell me to do that, I just started doing it. I am not sure what you mean by "the timer" Do you mean when it starts beeping towards the end of the power? I don't set that, it just happens. I start hearing this beeping sound in my pocket and then realize that it is time to charge up. I am curious though as to what you mean by the five minutes.
Yea, it is easier to have an understanding customer for an ICAP delay then it is for a POS.
We were told some weeks back that they were going to stop giving direct training on the Libbys because they felt the best way to learn was to use them. I think they were right for many of the employees. I still see some of the older employees struggling with the use. Most did not get "formal" training when we first got them and are trying to use them later in the game.
It's under the general settings, I think ít's auto timer and there are five settings, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes. If the mobile is left signed in, after 5 minutes it goes to sleep. That usually not a problem as I use it every few minutes so it doesn't go to sleep. If the setting is one, which is the default setting, it goes to sleep after one minute of non use for some reason that is when you get the spin of frustration.

Mine never gets to sleep, lol. I never had training on it, but I have figured it out and everyone asks me for advice or help on them now. I was the one in my store who discovered that we had the jcp.com app on it and have done many findmore orders on it.

I hope that the mobiles stay.

BTW, did they open the new home shops today in your store? We have four of them. They are beautiful. Don't know if the stuff will sell, but they look great. Very, very eye catching. A few times today, I felt like I was in a whole other store.

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#46 Apr 24, 2013
Jvette: Hmm. I will have to look at that default thing. I hadn't noticed it. I keep mine in my pocket and use it a lot while scanning items for pricing.(the ticket people made a lot of mistakes and missed quite a lot of merchandise in our department). Every once in awhile I have noticed the "going to sleep" but it hasn't been a problem waking it back up. I agree. It's been a very long time since I have see the "spin of frustration". I LOVE that description!

I had three days off in a row this week so Home wasn't open yet with the Everyday when I worked Monday night. I work right across from the Happy Chic shop and I love that view. Sure beats looking at all the luggage and clearance draperies pushed out in the streets. I won't get to see Home until Friday night. I have been peeking behind the curtains for weeks now so I can imagine how beautiful it looks with product on the shelves. the customers have really raved about the look of the parts of Home open already.

I can not imagine them getting rid of the mobiles either. There was a lot invested in those and if team members would stop being so stubborn they can learn to love them, too. I don't even own a cell phone I am so tech deprived so if I can learn to love them, anyone can.

We got training when the Ipods first came on the scene. I also go training on the Ipad, too but I rarely use those. As they added apps, they would tell us about it if we happened to be at the morning meeting. Then I guess it was up to us to tell the rest of the team as they came in later in the day. I happened to be at that meeting so I stated using the jcp.com that same day. I am not yet savvy enough to find everything I am looking for right away on jcp.com and I have better luck using the register. I am sure I will get that soon. I do like being able to order something on the spot. I am excited because I think I reached my "goal" of .com orders this three month to get the extra 5% off my tm discount.

The only thing I don't like about the Libby is that if the customer prefer an email receipt I can't circle the survey to give them that little guidance. I get a lot of positive responses on those with my name so I like to think it helps my image. lol Unfortuneately the little old ladies and men that I really help out often don't have a computer at home anyway. So, I just do it to help them out. They are so cute and so appreciative of being helped that the survey isn't needed.

I will take a look at those general settings Friday if I have time. We are usually so busy on weekends that it is difficult to "just play around" and see what is on there.
laura baltimore

Kingsville, MD

#47 Apr 30, 2013
well one customer said that the new abbington store stopped using those dam libbys i hope they stop using them and listen to what the customers are wanting and needing at the same time sales and coupons and fitting roompeople and sales support thats what is needed to go forward listen to the associates also listen to our needs then we can go on making jcpenny a great store to shop we also need a pricing team back stop fooling around and start doing something postive for a change dont make any harsh changes but make postive ones i greet greet and thankyou all the time when i work the customer likes that alot when you engage with them
laura baltimore

Kingsville, MD

#48 Apr 30, 2013
get rid of those dam libbys then we will have money to spend i bet they cost a fortune what a shame all i hear is negitive about jcpenny look what apple rotten johnson did to such a wonderful company now we are paying for his miskates he made they waited to long to get rid of his evil ass now we have to suffer because of the monster he is i dont know if we can move on or move forward to get to a better place jcpenny needs alot of help right now it needs to head in the right direction now i know thats what they are trying to do i guess we are in bad shape hopfully we will bounce back with sales and coupons concerned associate
laura baltimore

Kingsville, MD

#49 May 1, 2013
whats going on with jcpenny
laura baltimore

Kingsville, MD

#50 May 1, 2013
we are not getting any more libbys we dont have the money jcpenny we are poor sorry this is redicious what a shame what is going on with jcpenny we need to get it together and move forward get this company rolling again and get sales and coupons back etc stop the maddness
Jcp

Spring, TX

#51 May 1, 2013
JCPTM wrote:
bob: How can walking across the store to a register (ours have been at the five exits) to wait in line be more convenient? I ask the customer which exit they are going out and walk with them if it is a cash sale and do it at that register. If they are paying with a debit or credit card, I ring them up right there where we are standing, put it in a JCP bag and give them the receipt if they don't want an email receipt. I just have the paper receipt go to the register I am closest to and the customer is rung up, with merchandise bagged and with a paper receipt within minutes. What is also cool is that I am engaged in a conversation with the customer while we are going through the process and the transaction is over. Not every "older" customer is afraid or stuck too much in their ways to not accept this process. Our area has several "stashes" for bags so I do not have to walk far to get one.
I agree that there was a lot of distrust with the Libbys mainly because it was new and there were a lot of glitches. Most of those have been worked out and the Libbys can be easily used as part of the conversation. We have a stylus for those who don't feel comfortable with using a finger. I have to say, not one customer has preferred using the stylus and I use it myself for the more detailed processes like typing in long information.
I counted yesterday and we have 15 registers in our one level store. I never understood why people kept saying that there was not going to be any registers in the stores. Customers walk right past the one by the exit in the Home department and it is in plain sight. They often walk past the ones in kids and men's too. Customers used to ask all the time where could they pay even when there were those register quads at all the entrances with customer service signs hanging over them. Customers having difficulty finding registers is not a new problem at the store.
I don't think you will have any problem continuing your preference for using the registers for your purchases. I just think I would rather be helped right away without having to go look for a register when the team member is right there with a Libby.
They don't work most of the time, freezing up in a transaction, during checkout, etc. They need to go. And I'm constantly fielding complaints from customers about having to use the Libby's. They hate it, it's stupid, they don't want to touch it cause its full of germs (we don't get styluses here)
penney man

Allen, TX

#52 May 1, 2013
Do you all remember "The Golden Rule"?

live by it !!! and JCP will thrive again!!!

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#53 May 1, 2013
Jcp wrote:
<quoted text>
They don't work most of the time, freezing up in a transaction, during checkout, etc. They need to go. And I'm constantly fielding complaints from customers about having to use the Libby's. They hate it, it's stupid, they don't want to touch it cause its full of germs (we don't get styluses here)
JCP: Do you sterilize the stylus on the register signing thing then? Does your cleaning staff sterilize the door handles at the entrances? Of course not. So how does signing the Libby with a finger or a stylus differ from that? Why does the Libby have more germs then the device they signed before or the door handle at the entrance? That excuse makes absolutely no sense at all unless you can somehow show how the other two are void of germs.

As for never working. I say that is almost all human error mainly from not using them often enough. They go into "sleep mode" within minutes if not used regularly which would be one major cause for the freezing. It is also important that one keep the power percentage up. I usually recharge or trade for a fresher model by the time it gets below 40%.

If the employees lack confidence and act clumsy using the Libby, then of course that uncertainty would carry over to the customer.
I certainly hope they don't eliminate the Libby's as those of us who use them frequently really appreciate the convenience for both the customer and the team member. Those of us who have become regular users of the Libbys do not experience the negative customer attitudes nor do we have 'freezing" problems. I used to have those kinds of problems all the time when I first started using one. Now, rarely. I can't even remember the last time I had one of those kinds of problems of freezing or customer dissatisfaction when I use the Libby. I have read other posts from other team members who also feel this way so I know I am not the lone Libby "lover" out there. There are so many other stores that use hand held devices now even at our mall, that this is not really a novelty.

Since: Mar 13

Pittsburgh, PA

#54 May 1, 2013
If I as a CUSTOMER dont want to use a libby then no one should try to force me! Or the CUSTOMER will go elsewhere..... I question their electronic security since they carry the credit card number and password wirelessely... a thief could eavesdrop on the WI FI and steal the info....

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#55 May 2, 2013
bob: why do you think it has taken so long for this scandal to unfold? Surely, if this thievery is so easily done, customers would be calling the police in droves by now. You have written before about customers "being forced" to use the Libby. I have never forced a customer to use one and I have sensed some of the uncertainty from the occasional customer. I ask and always walk the customer through the procedure. I have yet to have a customer say, "I prefer not to use it".

Personally, I have no qualms about the security of the system. Why would a company or any of the other companies out there using a similar system, utilize this if it was easily compromised? I guess if I had such a doubt, then I would use cash then. No one is forcing anyone to use a credit card.

Since: Mar 13

Pittsburgh, PA

#56 May 2, 2013
Ron did stuff on the cheap:( Why have a 1300 store chain and try to avoid building code laws? not pay contractors? Over christmas I was at the new penneys in monroeville PA, a customer wanted to use a credit card but told the associate not the hand held thing. the associate tried to force the libby. The customer walked away going to look for a register, I really dont know since I was headed out the door at the time. Associates have psted here they were underer pressure to use libbys, no ne should force a CUSTOMER to do anything!
Ray Milner

Terre Haute, IN

#57 May 2, 2013
"JCPTM" How long have you worked for JCP? I had worked there for over 15 years. I have been through so many changes. I was an investor in the company for awhile. I was also one of the associates cut in the RJ massive cut. I am not unhappy about it, actually happy. Going back to school to get my bachelors degree. But before Ron Johnnson we were like family, we got 40 hours and everyone was happy to come into work. After Ron Johnnson took over, peoples hours got cut, everyone was expected to do everyone elses job, everyone was miserable. The idiots from district came in 1 to two times a week. About RJ, I have heard all sorts of people calling him a "genius" cause of the success from apple. But, come on, retail is a ways away from being computers. Also, I think RJ likes to take credit for accomplishments.Remember Steve Jobs was running the company I think since RJ took over the company goes to show that he wasn't the genius everyone made him out to be. Just like he didn't take the blame for the firing of our former vp when the marketing blew up in their face. What an idiot! I hope that jcp goes down like the titanic. I am so happy those investors lose the shirts off of their backs. RJ cost me several THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Who I feel for is the poor associates stuck there.
JCPTM wrote:
Laura: I am not sure where you are coming from and how much you are paying attention to what is going on in the stores.
Our store has been busy weekends for months now. We also have slow days during the week, but for all the years I have worked at jcp, weekend days and some nights have always been slow.
Also, coupons have been coming out since late November and with much more frequency in the past month (before RJ left) They have not vanished from jcp and if anything they are almost continuous in recent weeks.
When they go back to fitting room support, I would think the same thing is going to happen like it used to. Those working the registers will conveniently be "too busy" to check them regularly because they know "someone else" is going to do it. The word support means that, not do it all. I worked in a department where they had four fitting rooms and had the support. What happened? Those of us who worked spent the majority of our time cleaning out fitting rooms (that the day shift never seemed to get around to doing so it added up by the night shift) That same department as well as another one are always the two, everyone else has to stay after their own work is done to "help" put things away because it had gotten so far out of control. This was before Fair and Square and if anything it occurred more often before RJ even with support and "enough" employees. It is a mind set - are the employees a "team" who care about how their departments look? The company has to decide what is more important - people who are able to accumulate the most ICAPS each week because they don't do anything else except stand behind a register or those who are willing to share the load? That team approach was always preached in all the years I worked there, but it never changed, even when Fair and Square was going on. I am not saying it happened throughout the store, but specifically those two same departments.
I have been working there probably a lot longer then you have and those pre RJ were not glory days - they had their share of problems, too. There were a lot of people who shouldn't have been working there who left right along with the people who should have been keepers. Unfortuneatly, some of those same who shouldn't still be there, are still there because of their ICAP savvy. They are also the ones who were nervous about their hours and jobs.
It seems to me that this current CEO is quickly returning to the "old ways" so you shouldn't be so concerned about that. Just give that exceptional customer service and it can work out for you.

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#58 May 2, 2013
Hi. Ray: I have been working at jcpenney for longer then 15 years but I never worked full time as this was my "secondary" job. I retired a couple years ago and increased my availability late last summer to work at jcp. Since I was a "green" employee, I never had difficulty getting the number of hours I desired, just did not want full time. Before the RJ era, I often worked full time hours during the summer. Being there as long as I have been, I know I am a pretty expensive employee to keep on the payroll.

You don't need to feel sorry for all the "poor employees stuck there". This "stuck" one is fine with the job and that is why I am still there.

My comments that you chose to highlight were directed at Laura who supposedly still works at a JCPenney store. Her previous comments seemed to lack an awareness of what has been going on in very recent months, and in particular in the recent weeks.
Former employee

Lexington, KY

#59 May 4, 2013
I worked for jcp nearly 2 years. The last 5 months I worked there were 5 miserable months to say the least! The pressure to use Libby's, the hours being cut so that the rest of us were covering far too much...it's an awful environment.
laura baltimore

Kingsville, MD

#60 May 7, 2013
they need to get rid of those god dam libbys no one likes using them why should we they are a pain in the ass to use all of the time listen to the associates and customers they will tell you how they feel about them bring back what worked for jcpenny dont keep changing things listen to the customers and what they are saying to you lets have a happy place to work we cant afford them we are poor we dont have alot of money to spend on stupid things we dont need bring back sales and coupons and bring back the customers

Since: Mar 13

Pittsburgh, PA

#62 May 7, 2013
Well the last quarters sales report in, sales slide slowed to only 17%....

so all these reports of stores busy must of been wishful thinking

I hope Penneys recovers but if they do it will be a miracle:(

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

#63 May 8, 2013
bob: there are quite a few jcpenney stores. You have always stated that the stores in your area were like ghost towns for over a year now. That does not discount the stores who were busy sometimes and then increasingly this year. I would say all the stores who performed so poorly last year and lost more business due to a combination of a lot of factors pull the averages down considerably for the stores who are doing better.

Not all stores were full of poorly dressed, unmotivated and uneducated teenagers like the ones who described during the really difficult times. The stores who didn't reflect yours continued to give great customer service despite the challenges and didn't lose as many customers as the severely underperforming stores.

Our store is located in an active mall of all places, in an area with increasing employment with well paying jobs, a large major university and a very active buyers market for housing. Those kinds of factors would back up claims of busy stores. Employed, well paid homeowners make purchases.

Instead of looking at the busy stores being wishful thinking, perhaps you can say that there continues to be all stores NOT being busy as wishful thinking?

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

JC Penney Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Access Denied on website (Jan '15) May 21 telzo 35
News J.C. Penney to Resume Selling Home Appliances A... May 19 LTAssociate 13
Icaps/surveys and hours May 19 LTAssociate 6
Attendance May 19 Anonymous 1
Penny sale May 15 LTAssociate 9
News JCPenney Tumbles Amid Report Company Is 'Taking... May 11 holznomor 2
Dating within workplace May 11 Bad news Brad 2
More from around the web