Field Notes: J.C. Penney Plano Pairs Coffee And Keurig Conspicuously
Wednesday June 27th, 2012 - 2:04PM
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Despite the tough sledding recently for J.C. Penney, including plummeting comparable store sales and the departure of president Michael Francis, CEO Ron Johnson recently told investors and analysts that the merchandising transformation he has championed at the company has proceeded better than he expected. At the company’s store in Plano, TX, just across the highway from company headquarters, one element of the transformation seems evident in the coffee-maker section: the closer identification of store merchandising and national brands.
The remerchandising of J.C. Penney’s home departments is far from complete and won’t be until the retailer introduces its Martha Stewart product line, something not scheduled until late next year. Still, core brands that it would feature in the new merchandising are particularly conspicuous today at J.C. Penney. Keurig is one, and J.C. Penney executives popping over from headquarters can evaluate the brand’s display at the Plano store and satisfy themselves that it has linked the coffee merchandising about as firmly as possible with the popular brand.
Other brands prominent in the Plano store home department on a visit last week were KitchenAid and Bella Cucina. J.C. Penney representatives have cautioned that any merchandising changes recently made are preliminary and a work in progress. Yet watching the retailer showcase brands such as Keurig certainly suggests how the development of the J.C. Penney home department will proceed toward the goal of making national brands more effective sales generators at store level.
Tags: Housewares Small Electrics Retail
Dissecting what Ron Johnson got wrong during his brief, calamitous term at the helm of J.C. Penney is sure to be the focal point of retail strategy and tactics lessons for years to come. But Penney’s future could still hinge to some extent on what he got right.