JC Penney employees: 52 YouTube videos a day?

An internal probe found that workers at the retailer's headquarters spent plenty of time goofing off last year.

By Kim Peterson Feb 25, 2013 1:40PM
Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo
Caption: Customers enter the JCPenney store in the Manhattan Mall in New York in July 2009J.C. Penney (JCP) employees took goofing off at the office to new heights last year, when internal studies showed they watched 5 million YouTube videos in one month alone.

The 4,800 employees at the headquarters in Plano, Texas, had plenty of time for videos of cute cats, LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and other viral hits in January of 2012. That's the month executives counted up the YouTube views.

That month had about 20 work days. So for 4,800 employees, that works out to about 52 YouTube videos each day while on the clock. In fact, about 35% of the Internet usage at the main office was used for goofing off, The Wall Street Journal reported.

No wonder J.C. Penney's chief operating officer, Michael Kramer, described it to the Journal like this: "I hated the J.C. Penney culture. It was pathetic." CEO Ron Johnson had only been on the job for about two months at that point, and likely had no idea this kind of workplace relaxation was going on.

That kind of YouTube viewing is almost unbelievable. How could anyone get any work done? In fact, you'd almost think people were putting in weekend hours to achieve that level of YouTube activity.

You don't have to be a retail genius to know what happened next: layoffs. Some 1,600 workers have been laid off since then.

Speaking of YouTube, J.C. Penney is getting praised Monday for its "Yours Truly" commercials that aired during Sunday's Academy Awards broadcast.

More on moneyNOW


53Comments
Feb 25, 2013 5:51PM
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The idiots I hate are the ones pulling out of tight parking spaces in busy lots while holding a cell phone to their ears.
Feb 25, 2013 5:45PM
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This is probably endemic in most workplaces.
Feb 25, 2013 5:45PM
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That is not the only problem at JCPenney,  Since Johnson there is nothing of value to buy in the stores and when you walk into a store it is like a tomb.  Tried to buy sheets and bedspreads this weekend and the store was almost bare.  What it is in the store is shotty merchandise.  I am so sad and disappointed about what has happened to JCPenney.  I use to buy a lot of things at Penney stores but I haven't bought anything in about 1 1/2 years. 

 

Feb 25, 2013 5:35PM
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people always waste time at work.  i've witnessed it 1st hand over and over again.  i've been equally guilty.  the only way to get workers to work 100% of the time is to monitor them, by some method 100%  of the time.  very costly.  in the same way, most retailers shrink is from employee theft, not shoplifters!  americans do not have a good work ethic.
Feb 25, 2013 5:28PM
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Who do these employees report to? I assume some type of manager. They should be held equally accountable (just as to the destruction of the company), rather than using them as a scape goat.
Feb 25, 2013 5:18PM
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Now they are blaming their employees for their downfall?
I am sure that they need to blame someone for something.
(I am not saying that they do not have any part in it...)
What am I saying? I don't know... Have a good day though! =)

Feb 25, 2013 5:14PM
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If people would quit going to J.C. Penney's and quit paying those high prices, they would have to close their doors earlier than planned.  It will be just too bad for people to lose their job because a CEO that is an idiot is just too greedy.
Feb 25, 2013 5:04PM
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If your computer operating system is a windows based systems with out of the box computers it is almost impossible to block external websites. If your system is a "dump station" backbone system then all external content can be blocked.

If I was the CEO I would have cut all employees that was stealing from the company. That is exactly what all those employees are doing when they goof off... stealing.
Feb 25, 2013 4:59PM
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There is no doubt about it.    From marketing, product quality, and public opinion this company is closing shortly.   Maybe Ellen DeGeneres signing the chapter 7 papers will be celebrated on her show.   Ha!

Feb 25, 2013 4:56PM
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Very proud of the company for trying to deflect the fact that they are sacking and screwing up the whole company by trying to blame it on the workers themselves.  If you have 30% less business because you totally alienated your customer base and you lose $3.5B in sales in one year, then there is not much work to do, so they might as well be looking at videos!  Again, very proud of the sleezy management for trying to blame the employees for their shortcomings.  Anyone with half a brain can figure out what they are trying to do.  This statement only lends more credibility to the bad image that Ron Johnson is clearly showing!
Feb 25, 2013 4:56PM
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Which explains why they're less interested in customer service than they are in stealing as much time as possible. JCPenney needs to do a massive employee dump and overhaul so they can get back to the way they used to be, with updated quality product, not garbage from China. Also I want an upscale shopping experience, and if I wanted the same kind of South American-street-market atmosphere I get in places like Walmart and Burlington Coat factory, then I'll go to those places.

 

Lastly, what's good for Apple isn't good for JCP. Funny how they managed to stay in business for over one hundred years, through depression, recessions, wars, idiotic clothing trends, before some decided "new blood" was needed. Well the "new blood" of course failed. Penneys never needed that, but they needed to update and keep in line with internet sales. They can still be saved, but if they're smart, not at the expense of their brick and mortar customers.

 

   

Feb 25, 2013 4:52PM
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So sad about what is happening to JCP.   We do not want the clothes they are trying to sell.  JCP needs to go back to their core.
Feb 25, 2013 4:50PM
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JCP  is the worst company in the USA since they hired Rod Johnson.  I don't know why they did that in the first place.  They should have listened to associates in the stores and got rid of him a long long tiime ago,  I worked at the Terre Haute store for 18 years and when Johnson took over everything changed and not for the best but for the worst.  Now there will be a lot more layoffs and store closings because of this idot. 
Feb 25, 2013 4:46PM
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Who cares? You pay for what you get.

Feb 25, 2013 4:33PM
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Congratulations! This article takes the heat off of Ron Johnson's plundering decisions and refocuses the companies woes to corporate employees lack of focus and vision; but hang-on - isn't that the executives job? Please, the real problem with Penney's is Ron Johnson's new direction. It alienates core customers and isn't really bringing in new ones. Let's keep our eye on the REAL problem(s).  

Feb 25, 2013 4:26PM
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No wonder I never get waited on there. 
Feb 25, 2013 4:21PM
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If my company ever finds out how many stupid MSN articles I read and comment on, I'm screwed!
Feb 25, 2013 3:38PM
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why not just block access to sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc. like most companies do? 
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