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JCPenney (JCP) is a Bad AAPL

April 9, 2012 4 comments

How much absolute crap has the public been fed about how JCPenney (JCP) was going to miraculously transform themselves into the AAPL of retailing? JCP was going to become our favorite place to shop, or some, B.S. But, it is looking more and more like all of the buy-side stock analysts that urged suckers, er investors, to purchase JCP stock and ride it all the way up to $40 or $42 per share were full of baloney. Seems to me that you can’t have junk, or crap, if you don’t have JCP.

To see how ludicrous predicting a plus $40 JCP stock price, take a look at the JCP 5-year stock price chart.

JCPenney JCP 5-year stock price chart

Apparently, stock analysts calling for $40 plus JCP stock price never saw this chart

After all, with the huge economic boom brought about by quantitative easing Helicopter Ben Bernanke and the boys at the Federal Reserve, why wouldn’t JCP stock reach into the heavens?

Instead, Icarus-like, JCP stock price got a little too close to the sun and is now falling back to earth.

JCPenney JCP 3-month stock price chart

JCP: But the stock analyst said it would go to over $40 per share...

I hate being lied to and I find it annoying when people can’t see the obvious. What in the world would make anyone believe that JCP and AAPL should be spoken in the same breath, much less that JCP will somehow transform its snoozapalooza anchor mall locations into Apple Stores?

Who came up with the crank concept of creating “a store within a store”? I prefer to call the strategy concentric circles of hell, but that’s me.

If I were in charge of JCPenney I would have closed down the unprofitable and marginal stores and remodeled every one of the crap mall locations like I have in my town. Instead of the traditional “rat searches for a piece of cheese strategy” whereby JCPenney makes its poor customers wander around aimlessly hoping to encounter what they are looking for, I would make it easy to shop there. The store would be open with signs indicating each department – not “store within a store”.

Employees would have a distinctive uniform in order to separate them from customers. Employees would not be allowed to hide from customers while they attempted to look busy folding clothes. In fact, employees would be required – in a not-too-aggressive manner – to make contact within second with each customer who came into their department. There would be something akin to a shopping assistant who would be certain to ask you if you found what you were looking for today, and if you answered “no” would offer to order the item and have it either shipped to the store or to your home. Cash registers would be clearly labeled and colored distinctively so they stood out from anywhere in the store.

When customer checked out they would again be asked if they found the items they were looking for. If not, there would be a kiosk-type display where an employee would find the item and offer to order it or – if the item was in stock – would go pick it up and bring it back to you.

Old line retailers like JCPenney, big box retailers like¬†Lowe’s lose incalculable sums of money because they treat customer more like a nuisance than like the lifeblood of their business.

JCPenney’s silly junk marketing of everyday low prices, and crap ideas of becoming Apple are beyond wishful thinking. There is almost no hope that JCPenney will ever, ever, ever come close to achieving those ridiculous ideas. JCPenney could, however, offer a pleasant shopping experience with excellent customer service and grow its incremental sales. That is a tried and true method that, combined with taking advantage of the Internet, could prevent JCPenney from eventually meeting with the fate that awaits Sears and K-Mart. However, I doubt the CEO and many Senior Vice-Presidents will take the time to look at what really might work, and will instead continue to pump AAPL pie-in-the-sky ideas while watching JCP stock slide.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.