J.C. PENNEY AT 100 BIRTHDAY GIFT OF SALES RISE VENERABLE RETAILER SHOWING SIGNS OF VIGOROUS OLD AGE.Byline: Brent Hopkins Staff Writer
Born a century ago selling blue jeans blue jeans also blue·jeans
Clothes, especially pants, made of blue denim.
blue jeans npl → tejanos mpl; vaqueros mpl
to miners, JCPenney has weathered a difficult retail climate, holding firm as a fixture of American retail.
The chain, owned by parent J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week, offering big sales, commemorative gifts and feting its employees. With the struggles it's taken to hit the 100 mark, the partying is much deserved. The Plano, Texas-based firm endured the same market squeeze that drove Montgomery Ward out of business and Kmart into bankruptcy. It has emerged, gaining strong footing in its midrange niche. On Tuesday, Penney's announced that same-store sales Same-store sales is a business term which refers to the revenue generated by one of a retail chain's specific outlets during a certain period of time (often a fiscal quarter or a particular shopping season), compared to an identical period in the past, usually in the previous year. would rise as much as 6 percent in the first quarter, evidence, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. company leaders, that its five-year turnaround plan is working.
Though not as fancy as its upscale competitors or price-conscious as Wal-Mart, by stocking the staples and strengthening customer service, the chain has managed to eke out eke out
1. to make (a supply) last for a long time by using as little as possible
2. its place in the retail scene, thriving with reduced, but strong presence nationwide.
``We're doing extremely well,'' said Steve Phillips
Steve Francis Phillips (born on May 18, 1963) was the general manager of the New York Mets from 1997-2003. , assistant store manager for the Glendale Galleria The Glendale Galleria is a large 3 story regional shopping mall located in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California. It is the second largest mall in Los Angeles County. It is located in Downtown Glendale. location. ``It's like everyone just found us all of a sudden.''
The chain's quick turnaround has been attributed almost solely to chief executive and chairman Allen Questrom, the retail whiz who shepherded Federated Connected and treated as one. See federated database and federated directories. Department Stores This is a list of department stores. In the case of department store groups the location of the flagship store is given. This list does not include large specialist stores, which sometimes resemble department stores. through its difficulties. In a year and a half at the helm, Questrom has implemented drastic changes, centralizing authority and closing weak locations. The West Hills Outlet fell victim to this wave of cuts last April, one of two outlets and 44 stores that shuttered nationwide.
The prior problems, Phillips said, stemmed from the company's struggle to define itself, a problem Questrom has righted.
``The J.C. Penney Co. for many years has been Middle America Middle America 1
A region of southern North America comprising Mexico, Central America, and sometimes the West Indies.
Middle American adj. & n. ,'' he said. ``It caters to the blue collar worker, just like it always has. In the '80s we got away from the customer, but we're starting to come back to them.''
The return to the basics has been key to the firm's return to strength, said Richard Giss, a partner of consumer business practice with Deloitte & Touche.
``They have a pretty loyal following,'' Giss said. ``It's history with them - product won't do it alone, you've got to satisfy the customer, as well.''
And you don't have to have fancy names to do that, Phillips said.
``The strength's in the basic things,'' he said. ``It's jeans and underwear that gets people in the door. The customer's no dummy - if they can get quality merchandise at good price, they'll come and see us.''
The firm's local presence has consolidated over the past few decades, according to Eric Langkusch, an assistant store manager at the Northridge Fashion Center Northridge Fashion Center is a large shopping mall located in Northridge, California. It opened in 1971. It was severely damaged during the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, but renovated extensively in 1995 and 1998. spot, but remains popular where stores remain.
``Over the years, there was one in North Hollywood and Pasadena,'' Langkusch said. ``There's only a few in the Valley, but there's a nice store in Thousand Oaks and Santa Clarita, so our presence here in the northern part of Los Angeles and Ventura isn't as small as you'd think.''
(1 -- color) JCPenney shoppers at its Northridge store look for savings Tuesday during the chain's anniversary sale bash.
(2 -- color) The 100th anniversary celebration and bargain offerings come amid reports that the JCPenney same-store sales were up in the first quarter.
John Lazar/Staff Photographer