JCP's latest numbers are down. Do they wonder why?My wife no longer bothers to even shop there. She used to enjoy shopping for brands like St. John's, Worthington and Cabin Creek, as did many of her middle aged friends. No more. She also bought linens, curtains, towels, etc., but no more. And their catalogs, of course, are now gone, too.All of their styles and product lines now seem to be aimed at "younger" buyers. Trouble is, those styles do not appeal to a lot of older, more mature buyers, and younger buyers usually don't want to bother with JCP or Penney's! They prefer trendier stores in the first place!So Penney's has managed to desert their longtime customer base in favor of some hoped-for, imagined new trendier and younger base!?Not a wise move!They won't be the first store to die because they dumped their main customer base and sought a base that simply doesn't fit them!It's sad. And stupid.Vermonter
Target did the same thing. Doing research on their customers, they were surprised that middle-aged women were a significant number of their customers. Rather than nuture their existing customers, they were upset that their marketing to young shoppers wasn't working. There stated policy was to sell to younger shoppers, and that was their target consumers. Whether or not that worked, I don't bother to even look at their clothing.
I agree Penney's has made a huge mistake in failing to know who their customers are and what those customers want. They have reduced the amount of merchandise available and I can rarely find anything I want at Penney's. The sad thing is that my teen-aged daughters are just as disappointed as I am when they go to Penney's.I don't go to JCP for expensive make-up. I don't want low-slung jeans or low cut tops. I did like some of their more traditional brands. And, I am a sale shopper.One of my Scouting buddies told me that I'm being generous with myself when I refer to myself as middle-aged, but Penney's should know that I've got a job, and I spend money on clothing!Gail
I think JCP should do more to be known as a place to get the "classic look" for yourself and your kids: office clothes, school clothes, nice evening dresses that don't double as hooker-wear, etc. I was there this weekend to buy bras and the lady was so nice in sizing me and finding what I needed. They were decently busy (every changing room in the lingerie section was being used).Lara Amber
Target did the same thing. Doing research on their customers, they were surprised that middle-aged women were a significant number of their customers.I don't know how they can be surprised, unless they live in a bubble themselves - don't they ever go into their own stores. "Middle-aged" to me is @35-to-about-60 (I'm being polite on the upper end). By 35 lots of women are raising kids, and probably have less time to shop for themselves, so with Target Super stores it's easy to get pants while you're buying some groceries.No offense to RV's wife, but she's probably not "middle-aged" - she's probably "older" - and that's why JCP is sinking - because older women don't buy as much clothing, and the middle-aged women are buying clothing when they buy canned soup.I don't bother to look at clothing at Target because they don't carry petites. When I need lower-priced pants (jeans, cords), because I'm petite and thin, I can still fit juniors. So I buy from Delia's which is totally juniors. Even though people tell me I look young for my age, I feel a bit uncomfortable going into such a junior store - so I tend to order online.The annoying thing is 2X I wasn't paying enough attention at the end of my transaction, and ended up with an unwanted 3-month trial subscription to Teen Vogue!
"Middle-aged" to me is @35-to-about-60 (I'm being polite on the upper end).I'm glad you specified your definition of middle-aged, because the more general dictionary definition is 45-64. Knowing when someone is using a different definition makes their point easier to understand.Nancymiddle-aged.
really? you mean I'm not middle aged yet?Ishtar(will be 43 next week)
The catch for clothing retailers is that older women don't want "old lady" clothes. So we end up at J. Jill's, Chico's, Coldwater Creek, Talbots, and for those with more money, Eileen Fisher. Nice clothes that cover the bra straps but don't look too frumpy.YG58
Northern Reflections did the same thing years ago. I always bought my wife a nice Christmas sweater there every year, but then they started getting trashier stuff and we stopped buying anything. Then they sank completely.You'd think these people would learn!Vermonter
Wiki says:"According to Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60". The current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar definition but with a shorter span: "The period of life between young adulthood and old age, now usually regarded as between about forty-five and sixty." The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_ageI always felt "middle aged" started ~40ish.Ishtar
And their catalogs, of course, are now gone, too.I won't dispute that Penney's may be failing, but their catalogs are not gone. Got one the other day.Chili
I went with Webster's.http://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&am...Nancy
I'm glad you specified your definition of middle-aged, because the more general dictionary definition is 45-64. Knowing when someone is using a different definition makes their point easier to understand.Most thing are relative to what ever age a person's in. Lots of 70 year-olds want to believe they're "middle aged". But if mid-to-late 70's is the average US lifespan, 64 isn't "middle aged" and 44 isn't "young".I try to go by human lifespan and not emotional maturity - since if we're going my emotional maturity childhood seems to last until 25 or so now these days.
Chili:You sure that "catalog" wasn't just an ad? We have no catalogs up here any more, and thought they'd stopped all of that.Vermonter
You sure that "catalog" wasn't just an ad? We have no catalogs up here any more, and thought they'd stopped all of that.Well, of course, it's an ad, but it's about 30 (or more) pages and looks just like other catalogs I get such as Lands' End, LL Bean, and Chico's.Very nicely done, too.Maybe Vermont is just more aware of the environment and has stopped catalog delivery up there. That would be a great idea, IMO, but in the meantime, I still get the JCP and many other catalogs.Chili
I don't know how they can be surprised, unless they live in a bubble themselves - don't they ever go into their own stores. High level management actually go into their own stores? The annoying thing is 2X I wasn't paying enough attention at the end of my transaction, and ended up with an unwanted 3-month trial subscription to Teen Vogue! Was this Delia's? Best Buy use to pull a lot of this @#$%. I would not shop there, and would not allow my husband to use a credit card in the store. The few times he was in the store, he took cash.
Was this Delia's? Yes, when you order online, after the order confirmation page there's a page to agree to a free 3-month subscription of Teen Vogue (or other magazines I think if you want to switch). And it's probably one of those cancel-any-time-but-if-you-don't-cancel-you'll-automatically-be-charged-and-they-probably-get-your-cc#-from-Delias.Well, if you just close out your browser, it seems that's the same as a "yes" confirmation - you have to actually hit the "no thanks" button before closing out.Tres annoying.
Great. I can't find anything to wear and you're debating whether I'm middle-aged or old. My day is complete.Karen
Older women don't want "old lady" clothes. So we end up at J. Jill's, Chicos, Coldwater Creek, Talbots...Actually, I believe Talbots had a bit of financial trouble recently. May have been resolved, but there were murmurs of bankruptcy or selling the company. They do seem to have closed a number of stores. I was never a big Talbots fan, but lately they seem to be cutting everything quite narrowly and the material is not as high quality as it used to be. Because of that, you really need to shop from the stores rather then online. Some of their clothes hang oddly due to the above. Too expensive by half, even on sale. But, as usual, YMMV.Sadie KillmouskiNot old, vintage.
Chili:But is that 30-page thing showing sales of in-store things? Or is it really and truly advertising things you can order by mail or on line? Just wondering.Vermonter
I couldn't agree more.JCP was always one of favorites, perhaps our real favorite store.I liked the sales, I liked the coupons.I liked the merchandise and selection.St. John's Bay brand for women was exceptional! I see on their catalog website, the 'all the star ratings' over a clothing brand they will no longer be carrying. Silly! And how about Gloria Vanderbuilt?Even their men's dress shirts - the material they were made from were getting thin last year. Different from the shirts that we had in the closet.I have been leaving feedback by writing to the company, since the president sent out emails asking for it.The website shows items that aren't available, in any size. Why are they there? Why waste my time clicking?Sure, clerks are friendly. Actually, almost Tooooooo friendly. Bought a 3 piece patio set, on clearance, table and 2 chairs online. The website had 2 listings for it, all 3 pieces for 55.00, then just a table for 55.00.Guess which one I ordered?Yet, All that was delivered was the table.And it was heavy to bring back, but the clerk was very nice - almost too nice, if you know what I mean. Shopped around, since we were there, but they have no stock of anything. Had a hard time even finding the gold toe socks - tiny little display, with not much, well, displayed.Sad day,First CC I ever got was from them. Bought an A/C and then paid it off to build credit.So sad...nag
You sure that "catalog" wasn't just an ad? We have no catalogs up here any more, and thought they'd stopped all of that.Well, of course, it's an ad, but it's about 30 (or more) pages and looks just like other catalogs I get such as Lands' End, LL Bean, and Chico's.I've noticed that phone book sized catalogs are like ...er phone books ... fading into the lovingly miss-remembered past.Magazine sized catalogs are about all I get nowadays. Sitting on my desk as I type this is a 90 page dead tree catalog from Cabela's. The largest letters on the page?www.Cabelas.com of course.
Hmmmm...Dear JCPIf I wanted to shop at Walmart, I would.If I wanted to shop at a Trendy (read...Empty) store, I would.But I haven't.Quality and selection is key.Sincerely,A Long Time Customer
It's sad, and it's frustrating. They've moved everything around, redecorated and set up a lot of little departments that look like they are supposed to appeal to the younger set, and longtime customers come in and can't find anything on their list.Nobody is there to explain it or try to sell anything. For a while, they even took the sales lady out of the bra department.Meanwhile, H&M is pretty busy.
As far as the middle age topic, and not buying clothes...HaNOW is when I buy clothesFinally!Kids off, I'm (we) still working, and gone are every stitch of cheap (price paid), poorly fitting clothes, bought on clearence, in styles/colors I didn't like, that I wore for years - but it was all I (we) could justify to spend while paying off the mortgage.Middle age, yes, but I can afford to look good now.And I liked Penneys.
Middle age, yes, but I can afford to look good now.The fashion industry now assumes you want to shop in the "better" department stores - Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman's.And your "reward" is garments are numbered down, so we you can feel like "wow, I'm 50 and can fit into a size 6".That is of course unless you're plus size, and then choices are Lane Bryant or potato sacks.
MetroChick,Good One!nag -
Guess I should have saidI can afford (justify) to look 'better' - meaning I can buy what I really Like now.Not just what's on sale/clearance because it was a fashion flop - or the stuff that is 'in' and all the stores are pushing it - It's the Year of the Pinks folks!ughHonestly, I just enjoyed shopping at Penneys...and could usually find something that I liked, at a reasonable price. Except for the year that frilly front blouses were 'In'. After Christmas it was so funny, racks and racks of multicolored frilly front blouses, wow. Good style for some I guess, but it seemed to be all that they were pushing.Good point that the fashion police think that middle age women would be buying more upscale - which is interesting, because in our case, the older we get, the more we are down-scaling in many ways. Some ways we treat ourselves, but in many, we are saying - good is good enough.
so we you can feel like "wow, I'm 50 and can fit into a size 6".i will refrain from going on my usual rant about how this frustrates me ...peace & soapbox topicstwill wear whatever fits, regardless of what the label reads, just wishes it were the same size in ANY two stores/brands
Shopping at Macy's you pay for it twice: once with the price tag and another time putting up with the snarkiness. Nothing like having a size-two salesgirl tell you where the plus size department is when you didn't ask and you aren't plus-sized. Or actually seeing the (pathetic) plus size department. It seems to be calculated to make the larger ladies shop online instead. At Roaman's or someplace. - PaintItBluetoo fat for fashionless inclined to care
I live in a little corner of the world where there is no Macy's. The closest one is 200 miles away. I have to try to cull acceptable things from Penney's, Kohl's, Herberger's, TJMaxx. And now Penney's is not an option. I buy business suits on eBay.
My wife no longer bothers to even shop there. She used to enjoy shopping for brands like St. John's, Worthington and Cabin Creek, as did many of her middle aged friends. No more. She also bought linens, curtains, towels, etc., but no more. And their catalogs, of course, are now gone, too.All of their styles and product lines now seem to be aimed at "younger" buyers. Trouble is, those styles do not appeal to a lot of older, more mature buyers, and younger buyers usually don't want to bother with JCP or Penney's! They prefer trendier stores in the first place!So Penney's has managed to desert their longtime customer base in favor of some hoped-for, imagined new trendier and younger base!?I've been following the changes to JCP with great interest. As a product manager and marketing person, it's fascinating to watch a company that I used to work for and that I have sometimes shopped at make such changes.My opinion is that if the JCP execs stick to their guns, they WILL end up better off than they were before for a few reasons.a) The clothing lines that people like your wife and my mom have known and happily bought for years are still available. In some cases, I have shopped those lines myself, specifically St. John's and Worthington, and I have bought Worthington stuff within the last 6 months.b) The newer, younger lines are definitely starting to get attention from people in my age bracket and younger. I had bought very, very little clothing from JCP, other than one or two Worthington suit separates, for a long time because their clothing didn't interest me. I started shopping there again this summer when more products to my taste started arriving. And the past 3 months or so more and more of my friends in my age range have started saying they are shopping at JCP for the first time in ages. c) For the first time in FOREVER, I'm starting to hear college girls talk about shopping at JCP. I mentor a group of young college women in the midwest, and it's impossible to spend any time with them without hearing where they are shopping. For the very first time, this fall, I heard girls answering "JCP" when they were asked where they got <insert cute clothing item>d) Catalogs are going the way of the dodo for a lot of companies. Hell, most people who aren't senior citizens don't want to get a catalog in the mail - they just want to shop online. Doing the catalog thing is expensive for companies and doesn't benefit that many people. The fact is, JCP had a serious problem in that the demographic that would buy from them was getting older and older, and they had a number of business practices that were expensive but didn't provide much value. I completely respect this company for addressing this by identifying new markets they wanted to pursue and figuring out how to go after them. d
Shopping at Macy's you pay for it twice: once with the price tag and another time putting up with the snarkiness. Nothing like having a size-two salesgirl tell you where the plus size department is when you didn't ask and you aren't plus-sized. Or actually seeing the (pathetic) plus size department. It seems to be calculated to make the larger ladies shop online instead. At Roaman's or someplace.I think Macy's flatters themselves that they are a "better" department store, at least in the Midwest. To me, they are like Penny's or Sears with a bad attitude. I won't go so far as to say I never shop there, but it's really rare or me to do so. In my mind and in my neck of the woods, better department stores are Nordstrom and Dillards. d
I agree with diana.I hadn't shopped at JCP in 20 years. I thought of it as a place where my grandmother shopped.Last year, C said a couple friends got cute things at JCP and wanted to check it out.She bought a couple things there last year, and even more this year. It's becoming her go-to for stuff when she wants something that is cute but not ripped or slutty.Ishtar
Our JCP seemed to start attracting a younger crowd when they put in a Sephora inside their mall store. For serious shopping, I'd probably stick with Belk's or Dillard's, although my husband swears by their men's suits and shirts (their SAs in menswear seem to be consistently helpful and knowledgeable, as well).The main brands at JCP are available at a local outlet store, although it's kind of a miserable experience. I have to admit that if they didn't have a Sephora, I wouldn't go there except to pass through to the other section of the mall. Some of the clothes I see are cute enough, but if I'm mall shopping these days, it's for something specific and not likely to be a JCP item.cm, does enjoy the heck out of Sephora on occasion
I'd rather have seen Sephora than all that remodeling. Maybe they could have mixed new styles in to the existing areas, too. Then the long time customers could still find the t-shirts.
I love Sephora. It's the only that gets me inside a pennys lately.Although I have had two coworkers mention finding cute things there in the last year, one in her 20s and one in her 50s. So maybe the changes aren't all bad.
I worked for them in their glory years. Was a good run!
<<J.C. Penney Co. JCP -12.94% shares tumbled 13% and were the worst performer on the S&P 500 Index SPX +0.01% after Credit Suisse cut its rating on the stock to underperform from neutral. Read more on J.C. Penney.>>http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mondays-biggest-gaining-and...
They won't be the first store to die because they dumped their main customer base and sought a base that simply doesn't fit them!The same goes for Talbots. They were a mainstay for us middle aged women but now cater to a younger crowd who doesn't shop there anyway because they think the store is for us "old folks".
Great. I can't find anything to wear and you're debating whether I'm middle-aged or old. My day is complete.I am 64 years old and dress better than I did at 40. I am short so I need to wear petites. I have found that J Jill was the place to shop this year (online and sales only). They have a line called "wearever" that you can mix and match. It's basic simple clothing that tends not to wrinkle which is also great for travel wear.
Actually, I believe Talbots had a bit of financial trouble recently. No surprise there as they abandoned their base who consisted of middle aged and older women. I used to work in Manhattan and popped into the Talbots on Madison Avenue to check out their amazing sales. Most of the women were my age. I never recall seeing anyone in the 20-30 age bracket. Most were "silver haired" ladies.Talbot's clothes were well made and classic but that changed awhile back. They got cheap looking and catered to a much younger crowd.They got what they deserved when they abandoned their faithful followers (us silver haired women).
Brooklyn1948:Indeed!My wife (after I read your post to her) said "Exactly! I was disgusted by the junk in there (Talbots), too!" I guess this is what happens when 30-somethings take over old, dependable stores, and simply have no idea whatsoever who their customers are.Stupid.Vermonter
I've found Talbots is changing to be more similar to Ann Taylor, and therefore getting the mid/late career woman. Demographics change and a company is going to change along with it's demographic. When I was younger I thought of Talbots as more for the preppy, ladies-who-lunch, CT-executive-housewife crowd. With more women in the workforce and divorce rates - there's probably less of that now. Marketing to the "grey haired" - which for the most part means retired folks since there's tons of articles on how 40+ employees don't want to "look old" in a tough economy - isn't going to generate great revenue, since retirees probably spend less overall on clothing. Plus, there are fewer business formal employers now - so what someone sees as "young" may just be the more informal business casual attire that's more popular in the workplace now.
Let's remember that JC Penney stores started being the "Dollar Stores" of their time.They have completely abandoned that market to the, er, Dollar Stores of today.Seattle Pioneer
Let's remember that JC Penney stores started being the "Dollar Stores" of their time"Not exactly, it started as a dry goods store (from their web site):Modern jcpenney stores are a far cry from the small dry-goods store that James Cash Penney opened in Kemmerer, Wyoming in 1902. In those days, frontier miners and farmers and their families turned to jcpenney for blue jeans and other work clothes, shoes, fabrics and sewing needs. Today, busy working families turn to jcpenney in cities, towns and suburbs and to jcp.com for affordable fashions and home accessories.
The clothing lines that people like your wife and my mom have known and happily bought for years are still available. In some cases, I have shopped those lines myself, specifically St. John's and Worthington, and I have bought Worthington stuff within the last 6 months.I bought some St. Johns shorts and polos over the summer. However, I went online last week and they no longer have St. Johns when you click the option to shop by brand.Worthington is still available online for now, but a lot of what I saw was really trendy as opposed to the classic materials they've had in the past.I don't think they're going to recover from this very well. If they stick to their guns, I'm afraid they'll just go down shooting. Kind of like the Alamo...LWW
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