I guess we all know that it is a challenge for clothing/home merchandise stores to survive and thrive these days. I hear how Sears is struggling and closing less successful stores in hopes of improving their bottom line. It would look like one of Sears’ poor performing stores is the one in Thousand Oaks in the Janns Mall, because the quantity of product there has been greatly reduced the past few years.
Looking at another clothing/household goods retailer, JC Penney, you can see that they are making a major effort to redefine themselves, and become more in tune with today’s markets. I was intrigued last year when they were in the process of a major remodel of their store in The Oaks Mall. The store is now lighter and brighter, but there are other changes in the store that just don’t make sense. Supposedly, the new CEO last fall, wanted to “reimagine” the store, based on his experience at the Apple stores. Well, he certainly has, but that does not mean it is better!
I love coupons, because I can shop and get things cheaper with them. No more coupons at JCP. Instead, there is a sale some Fridays, but not all, so who knows when the sales are. Then, a Sephora beauty store was installed in the middle of the top floor. Does that make sense? There is already a Sephora store in the mall. And since it is enclosed, Sephora offers a basically blank wall to customers at a major entrance aisle in the store, where they could be selling merchandise.
Another problem is moving merchandise around. I visited the store yesterday (6-23) and there were at least 3 large, empty sections of floor! What are they doing now? Where did they move the merchandise that was in the 3 areas? How about some signs redirecting and explaining what is happening?
Howeve , I think the dumbest thing that Penney has done is shutting down the customer checkout on the top floor that was close to the entrance to the mall! Now, if a customer finds something on that mall side of the store, they have to walk back to one of the store entrances from the parking lot side, to where the 2 checkouts are. Then they have to stand in line! Is this part of the ”reimagining” of Penney by CEO, Ron Johnson? If so, it is time for him to do some more of it!
The top photo is of the Sephora empty wall. The second one is at one of the customer checkouts, with empty retail space in the background. Here is a link to article describing goal of CEO Ron Johnson: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/11/15/1645042/to-reimagine-everything-we-do.html