J.C. Penny’s vision ‘is to be America’s shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices.’ The company’s stated goal is to build deeper, more enduring relationships with its customers, increase associate engagement and retention and deliver industry-leading financial performance for its shareholders. As a business strategy, J.C. Penney intends to become a growth leader in the retail industry. The retailer strives to achieve excellence in style authority, customer interactions, digital experiences, and operational effectiveness (JCPenney, 2013).
History of J.C. Penney
James Cash Penney opened the first J.C. Penny store in Kemmerer, Wyoming in 1902. In 1907, he purchased “The Golden Rule Stores” chain of stores where he was a partner. In 1913, the company changed its name to the J. C. Penney Company and adopted the business principles that would guide the company to conduct its business.
By 1922, the J.C. Penney operated 371 stores located in 27 different states. J.C. Penney went public in 1929. In 1951 the company introduced credit sales and in 1953 it began catalog sales. The company advertised on national television for the first time in the 1970s. In the 1990s, the J.C. Penney stores became ‘anchors’ for the malls that came up across the United States. In 1994, J.C. Penny launched its e-commerce website www.jcp.com. In 2005, online sales exceed $1 billion. A year later, the retailer unveiled Sephora, the store-within-a-store concept. The company launched its customer loyalty program, JCP Rewards, and its Customer FIRST initiative in 2008 (JCPenney, 2013).
Overview of the Retail Industry
The retail industry in the United States clocks more than $3.8 trillion in retail sales on an annual basis (Business Wire, 2013). The ongoing recessionary conditions have thwarted the industry from registering rapid sales growth in recent times.