MarketScale Retail 02/11/2019: JCPenney’s Identity Crisis


The struggles of once giant retailers like JCPenney and Sears have been well documented, but what’s behind these massive dips for these companies? This week’s episode of the MarketScale Retail Show takes a look at what’s fueling JC Penney’s identity crisis. We also take a look at Saks Fifth Avenue and ask if they’re immune to market shifts or consequences for bucking the latest trends.

Ending Appliance Sales Is Just the Latest Curve in JCPenney’s Decline

This week JCPenney announced that it’s ditching appliance sales. They’re also making furniture available only via its e-Commerce site and at select Puerto Rico stores. The retailer resumed selling home appliances in 2016 for the first time since 1983. Then-CEO Marvin Ellison saw an opportunity to capture appliance sales from struggling Sears stores. But the experiment didn’t work. Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, says this shift away from appliance sales is just one more chapter in JCPenney’s drama-filled history. Marketscale Retail sat down with the retail sales trainer, author and keynote speaker to discuss.

“The problem is JCPenney no longer knows who its customer is,” Phibbs says.

Is Saks Invulnerable to Market Trends?

Our second feature on this week’s show takes a look at two major fashion trends in the industry: designer bags and designer shoes. On this segment, host Elmer Guardado walks us through Saks’ big changes for 2019 and how some of them go against what market analysts are predicting. Is Saks ahead of the game? Is Saks invulnerable to market shifts? He is going to take a look this decision and how it impacts the industry.

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