Shining the Penney

Author: Heidi Prescott

"NOOOOOOO!"

If you have watched the new J.C. Penney commercials, you have undoubtedly heard shoppers screaming at the top of their lungs out of frustration about sales fliers and coupons.

You might consider the advertisements boisterous, but they certainly grab your attention. And that's exactly what Penney wants to do as it introduces sweeping changes in its stores that the retailer hopes will rejuvenate the brand and improve sales.

Randy Petersen feels confident this will happen.

The manager of the Mishawaka store at University Park Mall started with the company 30 years ago, back when Penney's ranked as a retail industry leader.

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Patrick Murphy, professor of marketing at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, is interested to see where the changes position or land its stores among competitors.

"It will be interesting to see if there's space between the classic department stores like Macy's and Kohl's and Target, since they've been creeping into Penney's space," Murphy says.

He believes the retailer has an opportunity to boast about its 100-year legacy and its commitment to promising the same things, and keeping to the same philosophy that James Cash Penney had when he founded the chain in 1912.

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