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(Forbes)   There's a lack of sales at Penney's   (forbes.com ) divider line
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8893 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Mar 2012 at 1:11 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-14 08:37:44 PM  
That story was pretty depressing, but sounds exactly like what happened at Circuit City
 
2012-03-14 08:39:55 PM  
I blame the Ellen boycott.
 
2012-03-14 08:57:35 PM  

OtherLittleGuy: I blame the Ellen boycott.


Oh really, Vernon, why pretend, we both know perfectly well what it is you're talking about. You want me to have an abortion!
 
2012-03-14 08:58:44 PM  
What a pisser.
 
2012-03-14 09:01:20 PM  
Penney
(knock knock knock)
Penney
(knock knock knock)
Penney
(knock knock knock)
 
2012-03-14 09:26:12 PM  

Ghastly: Penney
(knock knock knock)
Penney
(knock knock knock)
Penney
(knock knock knock)


Nice Sheldon joke.

Bummer news for me though. I have a new service contact starting with them next month. Wonder if it's going to generate any revenue?
 
2012-03-14 09:52:27 PM  
You don't see too many newsflashes from Forbes.
/for a reason
 
2012-03-14 10:58:34 PM  
Auntie Em! Auntie Em! The twister is coming! The twister is coming!
 
2012-03-14 11:20:55 PM  
WTF kind of article was that.

So JCPenney had the lowest price of all the stores.
It had no hoops to jump through.
No one tried to dazzle you in paying a higher price.

Instead you have a knowledgeable salesman tell you exactly what you wanted to know and didn't push you into making a decision right then and there; and yet somehow this is a bad thing?
First of all, very few of JcPenneys salespeople work on commission.
Second of all, it seems like their biggest complaint is that they can't leave feeling like they got a deal....even though the price was already the lowest out of all the other stores they visited. What the fark do you want lady?


JCPenney fails because they didn't hold her hand and push her into buying the couch. Frankly I would rather shop at a place that has salepeople that can tell me what I need to know, but lets me make my own decisions. I hate going to places that hound me over and over again as I browse.
 
2012-03-14 11:41:48 PM  
looks like i picked the wrong week to stop sniffing the politics tab.
 
2012-03-14 11:46:33 PM  
Don't worry, they changed their logo, so everything will be OK now.
 
2012-03-15 12:01:19 AM  
The person writing this article needs to get a grip. He already did the research. He knew it was a low price and a good sofa. He knew there were no further deals...the price was the price...which is sort of what I expect at any store like that in the US.

So he was disappointed that some middle aged guy didn't do a song and dance for him for his amusement?

Personally, I would much prefer the kind of service mentioned in the article than someone coming up to me and trying to push me into buying something or being overly enthusiastic. I'm buying a sofa. I'm not overly excited about it; I don't expect anyone else to be either.
 
2012-03-15 12:02:41 AM  
Sorry. She.
 
2012-03-15 12:11:05 AM  
cdn02.cdn.thesuperficial.com

/just kidding....
 
2012-03-15 12:12:45 AM  

WorldCitizen: So he was disappointed that some middle aged guy didn't do a song and dance for him for his amusement?


Well duh! How dare the pleb not entertain for the master's enjoyment and money?
 
2012-03-15 12:15:12 AM  
It's an entirely different kind of shopping, altogether.
 
2012-03-15 12:34:59 AM  

Paris1127: It's an entirely different kind of shopping, altogether.


It's an entirely different kind of shopping
 
2012-03-15 12:53:59 AM  
white people problems
 
2012-03-15 12:59:21 AM  

quickdraw: white people problems


Maybe you've never been to JC Penney's in SoCal
 
2012-03-15 12:59:32 AM  
I went to the place that was offering the lowest prices for this product in the entire area!

Their employee didn't provide me with the absolute utmost in delightful customer service!
 
2012-03-15 01:13:39 AM  
We've been hitting up our local store lately, since they seem to have massive clearance sales frequently. The wife found me brand new outfits that cost less than a second-hand store, and I know because I went to the second-hand store and spent twice as much on two pairs of jeans than she did for three shirts and three pairs of jeans.
 
2012-03-15 01:23:29 AM  

SilentStrider: looks like i picked the wrong week to stop sniffing the politics tab.


+eleventy
 
2012-03-15 01:34:29 AM  

WorldCitizen: So he was disappointed that some middle aged guy didn't do a song and dance for him for his amusement?


Listen, you don't want that sofa. There's a way better one over here. Check it out. I've got the same one at home, it's great. It's a bit more, but I might be able to talk the manager into giving you a discount. I don't normally do this, but you seem to really like it.
 
2012-03-15 01:55:51 AM  
content6.flixster.com

glad he moved up from stereo sales.
 
2012-03-15 02:00:16 AM  
I dunno, I'll have to see about these new "fair-and-square low prices."

As far as I can remember the last thing I bought at JC Penney that wasn't at least 50% off was a $32 tie. It's a nice store with nice stuff, but jeez it's expensive.

/not cheap, just poor
 
2012-03-15 02:00:30 AM  
I like all her assumptions about the salesperson, so I'm going to make a few about her. I have some experience with the retail environment and we all know customers like this. Asking about sales, if something is going to go on sale soon or what the big sale is. If there are coupons or deals. Eventually they may even try to haggle. I hated it when customers tried to haggle. Usually after that is the flat not listening. I'm betting she asked about coupons or deals more than just the once in the article. They usually do, no matter how many times you explain that that's not how it works.
 
2012-03-15 02:15:30 AM  
I don't want to haggle or negotiate. I don't want to feel like I'm expected to haggle or negotiate or believe that the salesman is going to go in the back and talk to his boss on my behalf to get me a deal. Just let me pay what's on the sticker and leave me the hell alone. I don't often need representative help if I'm choosing between the tan or the sand colored bath towels. If I do, I'll come find you, I promise.

Screw you lady, you're not helping.
 
2012-03-15 02:29:17 AM  
Their biggest problem right now is the horrid print ads they are squeezing out. Everything looks awful. They need to fire the incompetent people behind their current ads, and rehire the competent people they fired.
 
2012-03-15 02:33:24 AM  

bhcompy: That story was pretty depressing, but sounds exactly like what happened at Circuit City


So much THIS.

Not every store should be an Apple Store or shopping would get dull, boring.
 
2012-03-15 02:51:00 AM  
www.irdial.com

Goddammitsomuch.

YOU DO NOT SELL PRICE you sell VALUE.

Calling this guy a salesperson at JCP is like calling the guy who sweeps the floors at NASA a rocket scientist. This man deserves minimum wage, not commission. He is a friggin' ordertaker, and not a good one.

Excuse me while I have a major stroke.

/ABC


"Nope," he said. "That's the way it is now. Across the whole company," he said, almost sadly, like he was bemoaning the loss of a beloved pet. Liked he wished things were different. "The whole company's doing it. No coupons, no sales. Everything just has a low price."

And that was that. We were good with the price. We wanted something that would last, too. I'm sure it was a good-quality couch, but he could have done more to convince us of that.


MAJOR FAIL.
 
2012-03-15 02:59:07 AM  

texdent: Paris1127: It's an entirely different kind of shopping, altogether.

It's an entirely different kind of shopping


It's an entirely different kind of shopping
 
2012-03-15 03:04:48 AM  
Maybe it's because they're shiatting on their experienced employees so that they'll quit and they can hire new people at minimum wage. My mom has 10+ years at Penny's and they're doing it to her. She has one day of work this week. ONE DAY! And instead of letting her work the cashier or help the customers, all she does now is clean out the fitting rooms. And she still has to find a way to get someone to apply for a Penny's card. One credit application per week. That's set in stone. You never have a chance to interact with the customers? Too bad, try harder! The fitting rooms are filling up because you're helping the customers and getting a credit application? You're a horrible employee and we're cutting your hours. Again!

Needless to say, she's been putting out applications for a new job. And if they're doing even a quarter of what they've been doing to my mom to "Paul", it's no wonder he can't muster up any enthusiasm.
 
2012-03-15 03:49:40 AM  
The author is a twit. "I would rather deal with a guy who has an incentive to rip me off!". Also loveed the Eiensten Moomjy "going out of business" bit. You fall for that, I have a bridge to sell you.
 
2012-03-15 04:21:29 AM  
He sat down on a nearby ottoman.

Sort of an otto pilot?
 
2012-03-15 04:24:05 AM  
WorldCitizen: He already did the research. He knew it was a low price and a good sofa. He knew there were no further deals...the price was the price...which is sort of what I expect at any store like that in the US.

I say, let 'im crash!
 
2012-03-15 04:28:56 AM  
Sorry. 'er.
 
2012-03-15 05:55:45 AM  
I've been doing some work as an outside contractor at a number of Penneys over the last few years and have seen their people and operation from an unguarded angle.

All the pissing and moaning that you'd hear anywhere else, to be sure, but still a fairly up-beat bunch.

I think the companys on to something (beyond the no sales gimmick) that will make them a long term player in retail. Good products, prices and people.

They remind me of Kohls to a degree.

None of the cultishness of Target or the gross-factor of a WalMart or K-Mart.
 
2012-03-15 06:03:21 AM  

What_Would_Jimi_Do: glad he moved up from stereo sales.


who the hell?
 
2012-03-15 06:33:07 AM  
What the author is bemoaning is the Amazon-ification of retail. As someone mentioned above, the salesperson isn't even a salesperson anymore, he's an order taker. With no opportunity and incentive to increase his own sales, he devolves into doing nothing but explaining the price and then taking leave of the customer. There is something lost when the customer never needs to interact with the salesperson.

The salesperson should be knowledgeable about the products he sells. He should be able to answer questions the customer may have, and be able to delicately probe the customer for the exact requirements the customer has. It's no different in couch sales as it is in multi-million dollar car rental fleet sales. The salesperson's role is to understand the customer's needs and to sell a solution that makes the customer happy and profits the company.

Wheeling and dealing is something that is not missed, and I think the author misplaces a lot of her frustration on this. However, having someone around to help with a major purchase like a couch or car who understands the product and understands how to find the best fit of the product for your needs is a critical aspect of the selling floor that should not be taken for granted.

As we move towards a more personal shopping style where each person does his own research and decides what to buy on the basis of features, rankings, word of mouth, and other publicly available information, we are actually moving towards a market that rewards cheapness, lack of quality, and products made overseas by the cheapest manufacturers.

Vizio is a beautiful case in point. It sprang up overnight and captured an enormous amount of marketshare based on price and specs. But the product is utter crap. In the Amazonified world, Vizio and manufacturers like it would dominate because they hit the sweet spot of price and specs, while high quality manufacturers that cost more are laid along the wayside as consumers rush to buy based on their incorrect perceptions of their needs.
 
2012-03-15 06:45:31 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: What the author is bemoaning is the Amazon-ification of retail. As someone mentioned above, the salesperson isn't even a salesperson anymore, he's an order taker. With no opportunity and incentive to increase his own sales, he devolves into doing nothing but explaining the price and then taking leave of the customer. There is something lost when the customer never needs to interact with the salesperson.

The salesperson should be knowledgeable about the products he sells. He should be able to answer questions the customer may have, and be able to delicately probe the customer for the exact requirements the customer has. It's no different in couch sales as it is in multi-million dollar car rental fleet sales. The salesperson's role is to understand the customer's needs and to sell a solution that makes the customer happy and profits the company.

Wheeling and dealing is something that is not missed, and I think the author misplaces a lot of her frustration on this. However, having someone around to help with a major purchase like a couch or car who understands the product and understands how to find the best fit of the product for your needs is a critical aspect of the selling floor that should not be taken for granted.

As we move towards a more personal shopping style where each person does his own research and decides what to buy on the basis of features, rankings, word of mouth, and other publicly available information, we are actually moving towards a market that rewards cheapness, lack of quality, and products made overseas by the cheapest manufacturers.

Vizio is a beautiful case in point. It sprang up overnight and captured an enormous amount of marketshare based on price and specs. But the product is utter crap. In the Amazonified world, Vizio and manufacturers like it would dominate because they hit the sweet spot of price and specs, while high quality manufacturers that cost more are laid along the wayside as consumers rush to buy based on their incorrect ...


The salesperson in this story IS knowledgable.

It isn't about being knowledgable, it's about not marking something 950 and then slashing that price down to 899.99.

It's simple straight forward business. IF the commercials didn't suck it would be great.

But the commercials do suck so....
 
2012-03-15 06:49:29 AM  

electronicmaji: The salesperson in this story IS knowledgable.

It isn't about being knowledgable, it's about not marking something 950 and then slashing that price down to 899.99.

It's simple straight forward business. IF the commercials didn't suck it would be great.

But the commercials do suck so....


I haven't seen the commercials, so I can't say. I hardly ever buy anything there anyway. Except for belts.

Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?
 
2012-03-15 07:13:19 AM  

Bob The Nob: What_Would_Jimi_Do: glad he moved up from stereo sales.

who the hell?


Ron Johnson
 
2012-03-15 07:21:08 AM  
It seems the author enjoys the "challenge" of high-pressure, commision-driven sales jobs. Good lord.

I prefer workers in a retail store to just stand to the side and be available if I have any questions or need to check out. I don't need a, "Hey buddy, how's it going? Anything I can help you with?" the instant I step foot in the store.
 
2012-03-15 07:22:39 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: What the author is bemoaning is the Amazon-ification of retail. As someone mentioned above, the salesperson isn't even a salesperson anymore, he's an order taker. With no opportunity and incentive to increase his own sales, he devolves into doing nothing but explaining the price and then taking leave of the customer. There is something lost when the customer never needs to interact with the salesperson.


img689.imageshack.us
 
2012-03-15 07:32:18 AM  

Lou Brown: AverageAmericanGuy: What the author is bemoaning is the Amazon-ification of retail. As someone mentioned above, the salesperson isn't even a salesperson anymore, he's an order taker. With no opportunity and incentive to increase his own sales, he devolves into doing nothing but explaining the price and then taking leave of the customer. There is something lost when the customer never needs to interact with the salesperson.

[img689.imageshack.us image 379x214]


Seriously. I've NEVER liked dealing with salespeople.

And I bought a Vizio TV about 5 years ago that hasn't given me a moment's problem. It seems to do all the things the equivalent TVs at Best Buy were doing at the time for about half to one third the cost. I knew it wasn't top of the line. I don't need a top of the line TV. I'm OK with that.
 
2012-03-15 08:11:25 AM  

gadian: I don't want to haggle or negotiate. I don't want to feel like I'm expected to haggle or negotiate or believe that the salesman is going to go in the back and talk to his boss on my behalf to get me a deal. Just let me pay what's on the sticker and leave me the hell alone. I don't often need representative help if I'm choosing between the tan or the sand colored bath towels. If I do, I'll come find you, I promise.

Screw you lady, you're not helping.


Can we get a car dealership to adopt this sales strategy?
 
2012-03-15 08:11:30 AM  
What a whiny freaking article that probably ended up getting that guy fired.


"I would rather haggle with a douchnozzle salesman than educate myself and make my own decision HURRR."
 
2012-03-15 08:13:47 AM  

Lou Brown: img689.imageshack.us


Until you're standing in the middle of a store with no reception on your smart phone looking at an item that you have a very simple question about and nobody is willing or able to help you.

I'm not poor. I'd much rather pay a little more and get a good experience and a better quality product at a more "upscale" place than get the lowest possible price they can offer. That's why I won't shop at Wal-Mart even for the loss leader crap. Yea, I may save ten bucks on whatever I'm buying, but the store is full of unpleasant people, it's ugly and cramped, and every time I've ever been there I've had to stand in line forever because they only have three farging registers open for twenty people trying to check out. I'll gladly go somewhere else and pay a little more to avoid all that bullshiat because, again, I'm not poor.

Of course, I also haven't set foot in a department store for anything but the restroom in years because, frankly, the bullshiat sales games they played meant that department store shopping was nothing but a hassle, so who am I to say any of this?
 
2012-03-15 08:15:43 AM  

WorldCitizen: Seriously. I've NEVER liked dealing with salespeople.


This.

Every time I have a most unfortunate need to walk in to a Best Buy, I'm assaulted every 2-3 minutes by a blueshirt. They have nothing to offer me. They don't know anything about their products, or really even electronics in general.

"Is there anything I can help you with?" they say.

I turn, face them fully. I give about a 2 second pause filled with a critical glare. And then I slowly, deliberately say, "No. No, I don't think there is."

Somebody else will try after a few minutes, but I very rarely get any further annoyance from the same person.
 
2012-03-15 08:24:46 AM  

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: gadian: I don't want to haggle or negotiate. I don't want to feel like I'm expected to haggle or negotiate or believe that the salesman is going to go in the back and talk to his boss on my behalf to get me a deal. Just let me pay what's on the sticker and leave me the hell alone. I don't often need representative help if I'm choosing between the tan or the sand colored bath towels. If I do, I'll come find you, I promise.

Can we get a car dealership to adopt this sales strategy?


Or better yet skip the dealer. I'd rather go to GM.com, pick what I want, and for their $700 delivery charge they can drop it off at my driveway.
 
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