J.C. Penney's Thanksgiving opening won't help

The retailer plans to open at 8 p.m. that day, but the move won't bring back the customers who have already deserted.

By 247 Wall St. Oct 18, 2013 12:38PM

Shoppers at a J.C. Penney store in New York, NY on October 23, 2009 (© Mark Lennihan/AP)By Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St.

 

J.C. Penney (JCP) will be open on Thanksgiving, at least so far as letting customers in at 8 p.m. that day can be considered Thanksgiving hours. Those four hours before midnight barely qualify.


The move will do little for J.C. Penney. Some other chains probably will do the same. Additional hours will not bring back the army of customers who have deserted this almost-dead retailer.

 

One reason the Thanksgiving hours are not likely to do much for J.C. Penney is that Macy's (M) already has decided to do the same.


As is normal in the retail market, other large retailers likely will follow suit to make sure no one or two companies have an advantage. Count on Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and the Kmart and Sears divisions of Sears Holdings (SHLD) to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, or perhaps earlier to trump the others.


As the companies go back and forth to be the one that opens earliest, the time could inch closer and closer to Thanksgiving midday.

 

Store hours cannot make up for what bad publicity, pricing mistakes, odd merchandise selection and poor inventory control have done. Same-store sales may not be falling at the rate of more than 20% that they did last year. However, the most recent data show that:

Sales for the fiscal month of September, ended Oct. 5, were down 4.0% when compared to September 2012. This constitutes a 580 basis point improvement over August 2013.

The slowing in the pace of erosion did not impress investors. Along with concerns about J.C. Penney's financial viability, continuing poor sales data have helped pushed the retailer's share price to many-decade lows at just above $7. In February 2012, the stock changed hands at more than $42.

 

J.C. Penney's biggest enemy has shifted from decisions made by management about merchandise selection and store configuration to stories in the press. The more consumers read about the chances that J.C. Penney may have to close altogether, the less likely those consumers are to go to a J.C. Penney store to shop. Opening on Thanksgiving is no better than open any other day, as far as the crippled retailer is concerned.

 

More from 24/7 Wall St.

 

61Comments
Oct 18, 2013 1:43PM
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Ron Johnson did a lot of BAD for JCP,  but,  he did ONE GOOD THING.....he believed that opening on Friday at a normal time was better.  He believed that the HOLIDAY was FAMILY TIME!!  

 

THE CEO and all the MANAGEMENT TEAM From ANY RETAILER open on Thanksgiving should also work if they are making the stores work!!

 

 

Oct 18, 2013 2:45PM
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It's sad that these large corporations are so greedy that they can't let their employees enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.
Oct 18, 2013 1:16PM
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Any store opening on Thanksgiving will loose my business for the entire season.
Oct 18, 2013 2:53PM
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CAN WE JUST GO BACK TO BLACK FRIDAY HOURS?  THANKSGIVING DAY IS FAMILY TIME NOT SHOPPING OR STANDING IN LINE WHILE EATING YOUR DINNER.
Oct 18, 2013 2:14PM
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I am so sick of these stores pushing the envelope opening earlier & earlier every year to try to squeeze every last cent they can out of the "holidays" I've bought less & less as the years go on as I get more & more disinterested because it's just turned into a big time money grab for companies.
Oct 18, 2013 2:50PM
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I have always liked JC Penny. Mostly good traditional Department Store.
Oct 18, 2013 2:20PM
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24/7 Wall St. is just some lowlife company that pays to have its "articles" placed on msn.com.  Their phony articles are nothing more than biased, editorial pieces designed to sway public opinion in support of the stock positions they have.  In this case, they are bashing Penney's to try to make their probable short position profitable.  The above piece is just regurgitated, one-sided, negative opinions that have no value to readers.

Read 24/7 Wall St.'s tripe at your own peril.  I wouldn't develop any emotional attachment to or take seriously the garbage they churn out to the public on a frequent basis.  Your time would be better spent picking up the dog poop on your lawn.
Oct 18, 2013 2:33PM
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Stores shouls all still be closed on Sunday if you ask me. (I know you did not ask)

People have become like wild animals, shopping, driving, pushing thier way to be first.

Stay home and make a life fir your kids, no one will buy the last shirt and unless you are really stupid almost all sales are scams.

Oct 18, 2013 4:15PM
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Ir doesn't matter to me how early the stores open.  I have no money to go shopping this year.
Oct 18, 2013 2:19PM
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We live in a free country. Hang with your family if you want to on a holiday. Others don't want to do that. And businesses should be free to open any time they see fit. Let people do as they wish. There is no mandated FAMILY time, not on holidays, not on Sunday, no on any day. All are free to set family time of their own on a personal and individual basis.

Oct 18, 2013 3:29PM
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I will not shop at any store that is open on the holidays. Any store 
Oct 18, 2013 4:14PM
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My wife worked 35 years for JCP and their big problem has always been....they don't listen to the employees. They hired some hot shot who took over changed everything and almost put JCP out of business. Most people I have talked to still like shopping JCP but it's going to take time to get them back. The closing of the catalog center was a big mistake.
Oct 18, 2013 2:51PM
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I wish pennys well, but I spend about no time grieving for Montgomery Wards.
Oct 18, 2013 2:11PM
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So likely thousands of workers will lose their jobs at Pennys when it tanks due to stupid management but way over salaries nitwits.   Sorry but bashing gays and lesbians will not save Pennys.  
Oct 18, 2013 4:28PM
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I'll be home, in front of the TV, eating leftovers.
Oct 18, 2013 3:31PM
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When will the greed stop!   Stores need to close on holidays!!!  Families need a day of rest and fellowship! That is what Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about.  They can open up at 6:00 am the next day...I won't be there.  I will wait and go during the day , during the week!!!
Oct 18, 2013 4:40PM
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"What I love about America is that people like V_L can rail on Internet forums, but have no power or dominion. Nut case religionists can rant and rave, but that is the limit, because they have no power."

A). Not a Religionist... just a former breadwinner. B) Ranting is a concessionary word used when you cannot refute what's in print. C) My words all have POWER. So many times I see dozens of thumbs up or down... they are readers. Reading is a power of immense capacity. D) No corporation reproduces- so we call them ENTITIES. Gays cannot either, so the idea is to not destroy the word "marriage" but uphold the reason for the word "entity". E) You indeed have Rights, but gays and lesbians are as much a force suppressing our American Way through job blockades and collusion, as GOP and all other "groups". You want to "group" go find a new country. This one was based on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for ALL Americans. Not just the ones who form groups and use power irresponsibly for collective gain. 
Oct 18, 2013 2:48PM
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It all comes from china or from the East anyway.. Most sewing factories in the US make body bags.
Oct 18, 2013 5:13PM
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............Ron Johnson destroyed this fine company - and the board paid him a $54 Million dollar sign up bonus................

 

Every board member should be fired.

 

And opening on Thanksgiving - I won't shop at any store that opens that day or for the rest of the Christmas season. One individual - exercising their rights!!

Oct 18, 2013 4:58PM
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I try and read or understand many the comments....MANY make little sense...

You that don't shop at Penneys, don't mean shidt to me.

You that don't like gays or lesbians, don't mean shidt to me.

You that don't like Ellen, don't mean shidt to me...

You that may hate the CEO, mean about the same.

Who cares about your comments, they are useless when it comes to investing...

BECAUSE YOU ARE A "NON-NUMBER" and a non-issue in their (Penneys) fundamentals.

You may think you are?? But really YOU ARE NOT....!!!

Why are you here ??? 

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