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(CBS Pittsburgh)   After 110 years, J.C. Penney finally realizes that it's senseless for clerks to stand at a register when no one is buying anything   (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com) divider line 59
    More: Obvious, J.C. Penney, self checkout, cashiers  
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4951 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Jul 2012 at 11:24 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-23 08:14:41 AM  
Then they'll have to re-hire all those people to help customers at the self-checkout machines.
 
2012-07-23 08:24:07 AM  
If they want to become more profitable, maybe they should have a sale.
 
2012-07-23 08:48:50 AM  
So now I'll have to wait behind some person who can barely work a modern TV trying to figure out how to use a combination of gift certificates, store cards, sale item while fumbling around and trying to bag their purchases on their own as they try to figure out how the machine works.

I've seen how the average person handles these things at the grocery store. Some of them have even eliminated the self checkouts because people were going to stores with actual clerks instead.

More reason to not shop there.
 
2012-07-23 08:56:45 AM  
Yay, more entry-levels jobs eliminated in a dead market!

/Yeah, I know that's not what the company is meant to care about
 
2012-07-23 09:13:48 AM  
Hey now, they're also preforming important shirt folding duties.
 
2012-07-23 09:40:28 AM  
First lesbians, not this.

Can fully automated lesbians be far behind?
 
2012-07-23 11:35:48 AM  
"That's taking away jobs from people," notes Kuhn. "People need to work and make money. Plus, if I'm coming to the store, I want to have someone there to help me."

With brilliant insight like this, I'm thinking this Kuhn-person should help get the country's economy back on track!


/I liked Kohls the one time I went there 7 years ago. No one was in the store. At all. Merchandise shows up, you just rifle through it.
//shops at home for everything
 
2012-07-23 11:36:02 AM  
I'd care, if there were any reason for me to ever shop at Penney's.

And I mean ever, as in, for the rest of my life. They have literally nothing I will ever want to buy from them. Sears at least finds a way to get me in the door from time to time.
 
2012-07-23 11:37:52 AM  
So are they going to make us use those magnetic clamps to pull off those ink-filled anti-theft tags?

Those won't last very long, some dipshiat's going to break one on the counter within hours of the self-checkout opening up, then get pissy that they have ink on everything because they were to brainless to stop checking out when it happened.
 
2012-07-23 11:44:47 AM  
FTA- "I don't want to walk into a place that's so austere that it's nothing but mechanics and automation," he adds. "I like to talk to people, they help me, they ask me, they take me to find things."

I mean really, has this new ceo ever gone shopping with a woman?

He should hire more people to roam the aisles, not less.
 
2012-07-23 11:46:00 AM  
I personally love the self checkout machines at grocery stores. Unless I'm purchasing produce. Then it's a time sink.
 
2012-07-23 11:46:14 AM  

Saberus Terras: So are they going to make us use those magnetic clamps to pull off those ink-filled anti-theft tags?

Those won't last very long, some dipshiat's going to break one on the counter within hours of the self-checkout opening up, then get pissy that they have ink on everything because they were to brainless to stop checking out when it happened.


No, see they are going to have one Customer Support Representative for every six self check out machines. Once you have checkout and paid for your merchandise then you will have to visit the CSR to remove those tags and check your receipt. So, instead of standing around waiting for the three or four check out biatches to move their lazy assess you, and every body else, will stand around waiting for one CSR to move their lazy ass.
 
2012-07-23 11:46:29 AM  
Diogenes

First lesbians, not this.

Can fully automated lesbians be far behind?

You sir owe me a new keyboard.
First it was fried lesbians from the chick-fill-a thread, and now this.
 
2012-07-23 11:47:03 AM  
Mostly I'm an early-adopter, I've had an "electronic house" for decades; but I don't do self-checkout or fondleslabs.

Not that I've been in a Penny's this millennium.
 
2012-07-23 11:49:17 AM  
And in 6 months when they've got a massive issue with stolen goods, they'll stop. Or when they have people get that indelible ink on them as they screw up removing the security tag.

Sorry, I may want to use the self checkout when I've only got a case of beer or something, but clothes, no, not a chance.
 
2012-07-23 11:58:55 AM  
First this dumbass Ron Johnson decides that it would be an awesome idea to eliminate sales... at an apparel store. Now, presumably without realizing how heinously idiotic that plan was, he's gone ahead and decided "no more cashiers, DURR"!

I used to work retail. Sales are practically the best thing to do to generate profit when headcount is down. Not only does it bring people to the store who normally wouldn't come, but it also convinces people to buy things they normally wouldn't, including stuff that isn't on sale. As for the cashiers: I'd say at least 50% of POS transactions involve much more than just exchanging money/swiping a card for merchandise. I've seen so many employees and massive lines get completely backed up for ridiculous customer requests that the machines simply were not programed to handle, most usually something not allowed by store policy but that we had to do anyway because the line was backing up, and the customer was growing irate. How the hell does Johnson think customers too dim-witted to figure out microwave ovens and too egocentric to realize that the rules also apply to them are going to react when there's no one for them to biatch at when they demand something unreasonable? They'll shop some place where they're free to complain rather than have their technology-adept frustration and pettiness go unheard.

They need to oust this guy, now. He's like what Robert Sarnoff was for RCA.
 
2012-07-23 12:08:55 PM  
The biggest I see with JCPenney is the buyers must be old fogeys past their prime. The men's merchandise has been out of style for over a decade. The upheaval of the sales thing they did was nice, but I went in and the same clothes were still there I avoided eight or nine years ago. Their buyers must never shop in stores where they actually sell stuff.
 
2012-07-23 12:10:26 PM  
Their new ads and new product lines were great, but this is a bad idea (at least as described it is).

There are other ways of handling a customer's purchase transaction than eliminating permanent dedicated check-out clerks. This seems to be extreme and counter-productive.

If you treat the customer like they're in a Wal-Mart, they're going to lower their expectations of your quality and therefore the price they are willing to pay accordingly. Bad customer service will kill your market faster than anything......except NO customer service.
 
2012-07-23 12:17:16 PM  
Are they trying to see just what it takes to run the company into bankruptcy?
 
2012-07-23 12:18:04 PM  

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: First this dumbass Ron Johnson decides that it would be an awesome idea to eliminate sales... at an apparel store. Now, presumably without realizing how heinously idiotic that plan was, he's gone ahead and decided "no more cashiers, DURR"!

I used to work retail. Sales are practically the best thing to do to generate profit when headcount is down. Not only does it bring people to the store who normally wouldn't come, but it also convinces people to buy things they normally wouldn't, including stuff that isn't on sale. As for the cashiers: I'd say at least 50% of POS transactions involve much more than just exchanging money/swiping a card for merchandise. I've seen so many employees and massive lines get completely backed up for ridiculous customer requests that the machines simply were not programed to handle, most usually something not allowed by store policy but that we had to do anyway because the line was backing up, and the customer was growing irate. How the hell does Johnson think customers too dim-witted to figure out microwave ovens and too egocentric to realize that the rules also apply to them are going to react when there's no one for them to biatch at when they demand something unreasonable? They'll shop some place where they're free to complain rather than have their technology-adept frustration and pettiness go unheard.

They need to oust this guy, now. He's like what Robert Sarnoff was for RCA.


He's trying to apply what worked very well for a technology company selling a few high demand items in a boutique setting to a company that has as it's signature store front something called a DEPARTMENT STORE!
 
2012-07-23 12:35:30 PM  

h2ogate: If they want to become more profitable, maybe they should have a sale.


t3.gstatic.com

/agrees
 
2012-07-23 12:35:31 PM  

kudayta: I personally love the self checkout machines at grocery stores. Unless I'm purchasing produce. Then it's a time sink.


Pretty much that. If i got any produce I go to the manned checkout. The self checkout ones never seem to do produce right or they dont even have it on there.
 
2012-07-23 12:52:49 PM  
You should be banned from self checkout lanes unless you're IQ is over 120 and you are under the age of 60. The exhibitions of retardation in those lanes are even worse than in the parking lot.
 
2012-07-23 01:19:12 PM  

meat0918: And in 6 months when they've got a massive issue with stolen goods, they'll stop. Or when they have people get that indelible ink on them as they screw up removing the security tag.

Sorry, I may want to use the self checkout when I've only got a case of beer or something, but clothes, no, not a chance.


Actually, a case of beer is when NOT to use it, as you have to wait for a clerk to come over and do the age verification check. If I have alcohol, I go to a staffed line.
 
2012-07-23 01:23:15 PM  
I bet the idea is more like the Apple store, where you're in the back of the store waving a pair of pants at a clerk and she does some hocus pocus on her iPad and you're free to walk out the door. People will love it. Or hate it. But I'm glad some business is trying Apple style instead of Walmart style.
 
2012-07-23 01:33:41 PM  
Job creators!
 
2012-07-23 01:37:44 PM  
How about some automation as opposed to an entire cut of sales staff?
There's a Penney's near my mall, and I have purchased some things there on the way to and from the food court.
What kills me is that I usually have to go find someone, so I can pay for my purchase. An automated check out would be much better. Plus, sorry to say, I wouldn't have to talk to them, and say "no" a dozen times as they ask me if I want to sign up for store card/credit card/gift card/save the whales whatever.
 
2012-07-23 01:53:00 PM  

coco ebert: Then they'll have to re-hire all those people to help customers at the self-checkout machines.


Yep, especially considering the average age demographic of your typical JC Penney's shopper.


Ever get stuck behind an elderly person at a self-checkout?
 
2012-07-23 02:08:16 PM  

BilldaCat10: meat0918: And in 6 months when they've got a massive issue with stolen goods, they'll stop. Or when they have people get that indelible ink on them as they screw up removing the security tag.

Sorry, I may want to use the self checkout when I've only got a case of beer or something, but clothes, no, not a chance.

Actually, a case of beer is when NOT to use it, as you have to wait for a clerk to come over and do the age verification check. If I have alcohol, I go to a staffed line.


It's probably a bad sign they don't come over and do the age check, but just punch a key at their terminal and I go on my merry way.
 
2012-07-23 02:09:29 PM  
Self checkout is awful. Between the scanners that don't want to read the bar code half the time and the hassle of scanning and bagging everything myself it's better to just wait for a regular line.
 
2012-07-23 02:21:50 PM  
Penney's CEO Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson - Audio Consultant.

/not even obscure
 
2012-07-23 02:47:43 PM  
CSB: My college was located in a small town. The main department store was a Monkey Ward. You would give your money to a clerk, who would then put it and the bill in a canister, and send it up to accounts on the next floor. This was accomplished by pulling a handle and the canister went up a cable. Your change would come back from accounts the same way.

They eventually did get cash registers.
 
2012-07-23 03:07:39 PM  

AMonkey'sUncle: CSB: My college was located in a small town. The main department store was a Monkey Ward. You would give your money to a clerk, who would then put it and the bill in a canister, and send it up to accounts on the next floor. This was accomplished by pulling a handle and the canister went up a cable. Your change would come back from accounts the same way.

They eventually did get cash registers.


When it was still in business, Quackenbush Hardware Store in Eugene, Oregon used that payment system. It was fun to watch.
 
2012-07-23 03:34:45 PM  

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: First this dumbass Ron Johnson decides that it would be an awesome idea to eliminate sales... at an apparel store. Now, presumably without realizing how heinously idiotic that plan was, he's gone ahead and decided "no more cashiers, DURR"!

I used to work retail. Sales are practically the best thing to do to generate profit when headcount is down. Not only does it bring people to the store who normally wouldn't come, but it also convinces people to buy things they normally wouldn't, including stuff that isn't on sale. As for the cashiers: I'd say at least 50% of POS transactions involve much more than just exchanging money/swiping a card for merchandise. I've seen so many employees and massive lines get completely backed up for ridiculous customer requests that the machines simply were not programed to handle, most usually something not allowed by store policy but that we had to do anyway because the line was backing up, and the customer was growing irate. How the hell does Johnson think customers too dim-witted to figure out microwave ovens and too egocentric to realize that the rules also apply to them are going to react when there's no one for them to biatch at when they demand something unreasonable? They'll shop some place where they're free to complain rather than have their technology-adept frustration and pettiness go unheard.

They need to oust this guy, now. He's like what Robert Sarnoff was for RCA.


Um. Forever 21 is a very successful clothing store. And they never have sales. People already know that they're getting the best prices possible, right then and there, and don't wait to time their shopping around sales. This doesn't work for all stores, but that doesn't mean it's not a viable business model. It's certainly a proven one.
 
2012-07-23 03:44:56 PM  
I've known quite a few people that worked there over the years, and all of them had closets completely overflowing with clothes that they stole from the store. They were all dicks to the customers too. I remember my friend worked in shoes and someone asked him to see if they had a pair in their size, so he goes "okay," walks in the back room, climbed up on the top rafters of the shelves so nobody could see him and just took a two hour nap, leaving the customer outside. I don't think the machines will do any of that.
 
2012-07-23 03:45:06 PM  
Or they could do what Kohl's does and have the registers conveniently located near exits rather than randomly sprinkled throughout every single department.
 
2012-07-23 03:47:06 PM  

coco ebert: Then they'll have to re-hire all those people to help customers at the self-checkout machines.


If they actually use RFID instead of visual tag self-checkout is much easier -- you just have to get all your items within a couple fee of the machine and it will read them all at once. No individual scanning, no hunting for the barcode, no verification that the item matches the weight/etc. It could easily be more efficient than the current attended checkout system.
 
2012-07-23 03:49:03 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: AMonkey'sUncle: CSB: My college was located in a small town. The main department store was a Monkey Ward. You would give your money to a clerk, who would then put it and the bill in a canister, and send it up to accounts on the next floor. This was accomplished by pulling a handle and the canister went up a cable. Your change would come back from accounts the same way.

They eventually did get cash registers.

When it was still in business, Quackenbush Hardware Store in Eugene, Oregon used that payment system. It was fun to watch.


I was a city slicker from NYC. Very new to me. But interesting, true.
 
2012-07-23 04:12:07 PM  

mekkab:

/I liked Kohls the one time I went there 7 years ago. No one was in the store. At all. Merchandise shows up, you just rifle through it.


Did you still have to pay somehow?
 
2012-07-23 04:16:38 PM  
BilldaCat10:

Actually, a case of beer is when NOT to use it, as you have to wait for a clerk to come over and do the age verification check. If I have alcohol, I go to a staffed line.

Sounds like a Young Person's Problem to me.

I'm obviously so damn old that whoever's at that station just glances over quickly and okays the sale. You don't get as ugly as me in a mere two or three decades.
 
2012-07-23 04:19:15 PM  
The CEO of JCPenney is the former retail chief of Apple, and he wants to shake things up to restore the company to profitability

Oh goody, Penney's is to be the next hipster outlet.
 
2012-07-23 04:39:15 PM  

Aarontology: I've seen how the average person handles these things at the grocery store. Some of them have even eliminated the self checkouts because people were going to stores with actual clerks instead.


Totally. I think the only solution that works is having some registers, and some self-checkout. Like Home Depot does. The idiots tend to know they're idiots and go to the register. The rest of us (assuming I'm not buying a ton of huge stuff that would be impractical to self-checkout) go to the self-checkout.
 
2012-07-23 04:43:36 PM  

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: Sales are practically the best thing to do to generate profit when headcount is down. Not only does it bring people to the store who normally wouldn't come, but it also convinces people to buy things they normally wouldn't, including stuff that isn't on sale.


Wow. I didn't know JC Penny eliminated sales. Wow. What you said there isn't even "business 101". If you didn't know this, you wouldn't be *let in* to business 101.
 
2012-07-23 04:56:53 PM  

The Banana Thug: Professor Horatio Hufnagel: First this dumbass Ron Johnson decides that it would be an awesome idea to eliminate sales... at an apparel store. Now, presumably without realizing how heinously idiotic that plan was, he's gone ahead and decided "no more cashiers, DURR"!

I used to work retail. Sales are practically the best thing to do to generate profit when headcount is down. Not only does it bring people to the store who normally wouldn't come, but it also convinces people to buy things they normally wouldn't, including stuff that isn't on sale. As for the cashiers: I'd say at least 50% of POS transactions involve much more than just exchanging money/swiping a card for merchandise. I've seen so many employees and massive lines get completely backed up for ridiculous customer requests that the machines simply were not programed to handle, most usually something not allowed by store policy but that we had to do anyway because the line was backing up, and the customer was growing irate. How the hell does Johnson think customers too dim-witted to figure out microwave ovens and too egocentric to realize that the rules also apply to them are going to react when there's no one for them to biatch at when they demand something unreasonable? They'll shop some place where they're free to complain rather than have their technology-adept frustration and pettiness go unheard.

They need to oust this guy, now. He's like what Robert Sarnoff was for RCA.

Um. Forever 21 is a very successful clothing store. And they never have sales. People already know that they're getting the best prices possible, right then and there, and don't wait to time their shopping around sales. This doesn't work for all stores, but that doesn't mean it's not a viable business model. It's certainly a proven one.


I swear they do have sales, but between them, Charlotte Russe, and ROMY, they all kinda blur together.
 
2012-07-23 05:18:00 PM  
Thank you, JCP, for overtaking my beloved Sears in rushing to the toilet.
 
2012-07-23 06:53:39 PM  
Great solution, slow down your lines and make you shop look even more low class.

You basically took took your negative impression of being a low end crap store and made it even stronger. Die well!

FTA: The CEO of JCPenney is the former retail chief of Apple, and he wants to shake things up to restore the company to profitability.

You mean the place that has TONS of people working there? And he thinks the opposite is a better solution?
 
2012-07-23 06:56:01 PM  

Saberus Terras: So are they going to make us use those magnetic clamps to pull off those ink-filled anti-theft tags?

Those won't last very long, some dipshiat's going to break one on the counter within hours of the self-checkout opening up, then get pissy that they have ink on everything because they were to brainless to stop checking out when it happened.


So Home Depot has these. I know that they suck but every time I have like 2 things I say to myself "I only have 2 things to check out how long can it take"? Every time the machine breaks or there is something the one guy over seeing the machine needs to take care of but is already helping someone else.

fark these things.
 
2012-07-23 06:56:57 PM  

rtaylor92: Or they could do what Kohl's does and have the registers conveniently located near exits rather than randomly sprinkled throughout every single department.


THIS.
 
2012-07-23 07:50:51 PM  

Corvus:
So Home Depot has these. I know that they suck but every time I have like 2 things I say to myself "I only have 2 things to check out how long can it take"? Every time the machine breaks or there is something the one guy over seeing the machine needs to take care of but is already helping someone else.

fark these things.


I hate them with a passion. First, i can move faster than the machine can compute, because it has to not only scan the item, but also check the weight and size, etc, to make sure you arent cheating.

Then, in the supermarkets, its a pain in the ass with things like produce (have to scroll through the menu and remember which exact type of tomato you bought out of the 20 'tomato' choices that all have the same picture), and with buying beer (they need a human to come over and check your ID).

Even in CVS, you need a human to come over and check your ID for buying most medicines (which, if you are in CVS, is very likely).


I like the idea, but so far, the systems are complete shiat. They need more R&D time.
 
2012-07-23 09:02:57 PM  
Terrible idea. You know, just because someone used to work at Apple doesn't mean they can innovate like Steve Jobs.

I like JCP.
 
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