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More Big Changes Heading to J.C. Penney

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First it was a new design to their stores, then a new tagline, then a new look for their catalog, the next change heading to J.C. Penney will change the way you shop – at least inside their stores.

We all want low prices, especially in the economic environment we are currently in. Stores are struggling to continue to post profits as they see fewer and fewer people shopping. J.C. Penney started offering the “best prices”, taking away the need for sales altogether.

Every company out there is looking for a new way of doing business to keep up with the times. I get that, but when you start trying to be too cool for the majority, you will shoot yourself in the foot every time. Corporations are more concerned about posting another record profit for their share holders than making sure their employees can actually eat.

There are companies out there posting billions of dollars in pure profit every year and yet their employees qualify for government assistance. It really is sad to talk to people and hearing them telling of losing their home or their kids going hungry because the job they have had for 10+ years doesn’t pay them enough to afford gas, shelter and food.

J.C. Penney seems to be jumping on the cut back bandwagon. Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney has announced they are going to shake up the way you check out at the store. Instead of being greeted by a human, you’ll check yourself out – much like the self checkouts at Wal-Mart, Coborn’s or Home Depot. Yep, you will have to be tech savvy to shop at J.C. Penney.

Of course the corporate executives will never publicly say they are going to reduce the amount of employees they have. That wouldn’t look good at all in the public eye. This company that has been around for a hundred years is shrinking its work force. No, they will say they are moving those associates onto the floor so they can be more helpful to the customers that are shopping.My prediction is they will eliminate the need for those employees and not replace them.

I admit that I do enjoy the self checkout – mostly because the cashiers (who are just doing their job) constantly ask me if I want to sign up for their email club, or ask me if I want to apply for a credit card or ask me if I want to buy socks to go with my shoes that I purchased. I welcome the self checkout so I can avoid answering these questions that the “executives” have required them to ask every customer. If they weren’t required to ask these questions, it would make check out much more pleasant and they would still need these employees.

Now, let’s look at the opposite side. The older generation – and I’m not trying to offend our seniors – are going to find this difficult to deal with. I look at my mom and realize how much she struggles with new technology. She doesn’t use self checkout because she doesn’t want to learn how to use it. The last time I checked, J.C. Penney’s main base of customers is this same older generation – not the young people that are ok with checking themselves out.

If you chase off your older shoppers with new technology and the young shoppers aren’t coming to your store anyway, you have now put yourself out of business. I’m not a business major, but I do know that if you have zero customers, you don’t make money.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of corporations making billions in profit while their employees suffer. I’m tired of seeing jobs being sent overseas because those employees will work for a fraction of what we will. Well, the last time I checked, it costs a LOT less to live in India than it does to live in the U.S. We could work for less here in the states if our prices were rolled back to 1950. Since they aren’t 1950 prices, we will continue to see companies make poor decisions and expect their customers and their employees to just roll over and take it.

I’m thinking I will have to see what the Magic of Macy’s is all about.

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