The Retail Industry Inside J.C. Penny Company, Inc.

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The industry that I chose to research is the retail industry and the publicly traded corporation that I chose within that industry is J.C. Penny Company, Inc. With this paper I will discuss a little background about J.C. Penny Company, Inc., analyze the business level strategies that are most important to the long term success of the firm, analyze the corporate level strategies that is most important, the competitive environment, as well as slow cycle and fast cycle markets.

J. C. Penney Company, Inc., commonly known as J.C. Penney and formerly known as Penney’s, is a chain of American department stores based in Plano, Texas. The company operates 1,107 department stores in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, and previously operated a catalog business and several discount outlets. In addition to selling conventional merchandise, J.C. Penney stores often house several leased departments such as Sephora, Seattle's Best Coffee, optical centers, portrait studios, and jewelry repair. Most J.C. Penney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Before 1966, most of its stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular in the latter half of the 20th century, J.C. Penney followed the trend by relocating and developing stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening independent stores with some next door to competitors. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998. It has streamlined its catalog and distribution while undergoing renovation improvements at store level (J.C. Penny History). J.C. Penney began his career in retail management when he opened The Golden Rule store, a partnership with Guy Johnson and Thomas Callahan, on April 14, 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. He participated in the creation of two more stores, and purchased full interest in all three locations when Callahan and Johnson dissolved their partnership in 1907. In 1909, Penney moved his company headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah to be closer to banks and railroads. By 1912, Penney had 34 stores in the Rocky Mountain States. In 1913, all stores were consolidated under the J.C. Penney banner. The so-called "mother store", in Kemmerer, opened as the chain's second location in 1904. It still operates, as of 2011, except with hours shorter than many of its other store locations. In 1913, the company was incorporated under the new name, J. C. Penney Company, with William Henry McManus as a co-founder. In 1914, the headquarters was moved to New York City to simplify the buying, financing, and transportation of goods. Around this time, Bert J. Niver joined the company as a junior partner (J.C. Penny History). By 1917, the company operated 175 stores in 22 states in the United States. J. C. Penney acquired The Crescent Corset Company in 1920, the company's first wholly owned subsidiary. In 1922, the company's oldest active private brand, Big Mac work clothes, was launched. The company opened its 500th store in 1924 in Hamilton, Missouri, James Cash Penney's hometown. By the opening of the 1,000th store in 1928, gross business had reached $190,000,000. In 1940, Sam Walton began working at a J. C. Penney in Des Moines, Iowa. Walton later went on to found future retailer Wal-Mart in 1962. By 1941, J.C. Penney operated 1,600 stores in all 48 contiguous states. In 1956, J. C. Penney started national advertising with a series of advertisements in Life magazine. J. C. Penney credit cards were issued and accepted at its stores for the first time in 1959 (J.C. Penny History). James Cash Penney founded his company on the principle of the Golden Rule: treat others the way you’d like to be treated – Fair and Square. His legacy continues to this day, as J. C. Penney Company, Inc. boldly transforms the retail experience across 1,100 stores and jcp.com to become America’s favorite store. Focused on making the customer experience better every day, J.C....
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