The department-store chain is closing 39 stores this year, after shuttering 33 last year. Its troubles highlight a growing divide in the consumer economy.
Only a year ago the retailer was facing talk of bankruptcy, but today, it said it’s back on track. And importantly, it has no plans for store closures — a relief for its employees.
TJX is pulling in more in annual sales than most department stores in America, including J.C. Penney, Sears and Nordstrom.
Terry Lundgren spoke at length with BuzzFeed on these topics and more during last week’s Global Retailing Conference in Arizona. Here are excerpts from the conversation.
That’s bad for retailers. But great for consumers, who will get killer discounts in the shortest holiday shopping period in 11 years.
J.C. Penney reported its second-quarter results today, and the biggest takeaway was that it’s essentially hitting the undo button on former CEO Ron Johnson’s tenure.
The company’s sales shrank another 12% in the second quarter after falling by 23% in the second quarter of last year. The $2.7 billion in sales compares with $3.9 billion two years ago.
Activist investor and board member Bill Ackman is telling the world that he wants certain things for J.C. Penney. J.C. Penney is like, we are not at all happy with you.
The ailing department store brings in a key hire, filling a position that has been vacant for about a year.
Jeff Herbert, an outside consultant brought in by Sergio Zyman for J.C. Penney’s marketing department, is gone. So is the general merchandising manager of the home department, an area that was one of ex-leader Ron Johnson’s big bets.
An organizational therapist brought in to help J.C. Penney employees cope with its management upheaval likened the experience to a bomb explosion and 9/11. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
Display builders at department stores work 60 to 70 hours a week at Christmastime, in freezing windows. And something always goes wrong.
As seen at Philadelphia’s Center City Macy’s. I actually went in and spoke to the manager. It went something like this: Me: How do you spell “embarrassment”? Manager: *Takes pen and paper and begins writing it out, pauses halfway through.* Hmmm…I don’t know if there are one or two s’s. Me: Neither does your Display Department.
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