To say that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is a struggling retailer is tantamount to saying that a woman is kind of pregnant; the retailer has not seen good days in some time. Beyond a sagging stock price and boardroom shenanigans, the Plano, TX-based retailer just isn’t bringing customers through the door of its 1,100 locations.
J.C. Penney’s Thanksgiving night
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has announced today that it will be opening its doors on Thanksgiving night to offer shoppers an opportunity to get started on their holiday shopping while making sure its employees can’t enjoy the holiday.
In order to match Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), J.C. Penney will open the bulk of its 1,100 locations at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and will remain open for the next 25 hours. The stores are expected to close at 9 p.m. on “Black Friday.”
Last year, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) chose to open at 6 a.m. Friday morning, allowing millions in sales to go to its competitors, who opened their doors on the night of the holiday. Additionally, the retailer ditched a long-standing tradition of giving holiday globes to its customers. This year, the snow globes have returned and Penney’s expects to give away 2 million of them, beginning at 4 a.m. on Friday.
“Obviously, we were one of the last to open (last year),” said Tony Bartlett, Penney’s executive vice president of stores. But he noted that this year, “We’re all in.”
J.C. Penney offering new deals
Bartlett also promised that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s deals would blow away its weak efforts that it embarked on last year. Last year, Penney’s gave away buttons tied to a prize giveaway.
In order to properly staff its stores for the holiday, J.C. Penney is also expected to hire around 35,000 seasonal workers. That number is nearly double what it hired last year.
All of this planning is designed to make Penney’s customers forget the bad taste left in their mouths by former CEO Ron Johnson, who tried to reinvent the retailer by appealing to a more affluent, younger shopper. In 17 months, Johnson nearly ruined the company, and was fired two months after the company announced its shocking fourth-quarter results. In the last fiscal year, Penney saw losses of nearly a billion dollars and sales fell by 25 percent.
As a result of Johnson’s ineptitude, his predecessor, Mike Ullman, was reinstalled as CEO and has been trying to bring back the J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) of old.