DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The doors are still open at JCPenney stores– and the cash registers are ringing– but not nearly enough. With same-store sales and stock prices plummeting, some experts say the Plano based retailer is vulnerable to take-over.
“I think absolutely they are,” says Ed Fox, Marketing professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business.
Fox has met with JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson, and has studied the company extensively. He says Johnson’s vision for the company is bold. But.
“We had a signal this week, that they don’t have as much time as they had hoped to have,” says Fox.
Earlier this week, a major investor dumped 10 million shares and stock prices headed started falling and haven’t stopped.
Jennifer Dixon is doing her part, snagging a new pair of shoes at the Dallas store during her lunch break. “We love shopping at JCPenney,” says Dixon. But, she also realizes that there’s so much more at stake.
“There’s a guy in my office, his fiancé works for JCPenney, the corporate office, and she’s really terrified of losing her job, and I’d hate to see that happen.”
Part of JCPenney’s planned turnaround involved a new pricing strategy that promised low prices every day, but did away with sales. And some customers say, the policy turned them away as well.
“I really looked forward to getting the coupons,” says Raquel Frances. “And even though they may have lowered their price, you seem to have a sense of you’re getting a better deal if you walk in with a coupon and seeing the total go down even lower!” says Francis with a laugh. “So I was a little disappointed, I actually stopped shopping for a while.”
Experts say Francis isn’t alone and shoppers registered their disapproval with the policy by staying away. According to Fox, one of the biggest issues facing the company right now is perceived indecisiveness.
“They took a giant step forward… And now they’ve taken steps back toward what they were, which isn’t a bad thing. But, customers have to know what they’re getting when they go to a JCPenney store, and today, I don’t think that’s clear to them.”
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