Same story, different day
Department stores are continuing to feel the pressure from growing online retailers.
JCPenney just reported a loss of 3.5% of sales for this past quarter, which comes as no shock as many consumers are moving away from physical retailers.
On the way down
Despite having their first net sales profit last year since 2011, JCPenney is still seeing their sales decline. All categories are suffering, especially when it comes to apparel. In fact, the only sectors that saw some improvement were active wear and dress. This news comes as no surprise as more and more retailers are closing up shop.
JCPenney plans on closing 140 locations by the end of July.
They will join the company of popular women’s clothing retailer Bebe, who announced the closing of all of their stores last month. Even Macy’s isn’t untouchable. The mega retailer plans on closing 10% of all of their stores this year.
The decline is sales is the result of popular ecommerce sites. As the low sales show, customers prefer shopping from the convenience of their own homes rather than visiting a physical location. Department stores in general reported weak sales across the board. In this time, no one is immune and unfortunately, no one is very optimistic.
JCPenney game plan
JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison has a strategy that he hopes will at least keep the clothing store afloat until they find a way to gain a new following. Ellison has evaluated what categories are the most successful and is planning to expand them.
He plans on focusing on their growing appliance and fine jewelry sections in addition to expanding their partnership with Sephora cosmetics.
Ellison also understands the importance of retaining a viable online shop. JCPenney has an online shop that offers various brand name clothing to appeal to a wider demographic.
Still, Ellison notes that the future of the company depends on improving women’s apparel, which makes up 24% of the store’s overall products. He notes it is critical to makes strides in this segment, as fashion is the driving force behind the JCPenney name.
Even with the slight improvement of their smaller categories, finding a way to get people in the physical location and away from their computers will be the saving grace.