'Now You See Me'; JCPenney (JCP) to Tighten-Up Employee Dress Code in Sales-Boost Effort

June 17, 2013 7:53 AM EDT
If you want to purchase something from a retailer, it usually helps to know where associates are stationed or where to go to make your purchases. That's something that hasn't been prevalent at JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) over the last year or so. But, all that is about to change.

Moving away from a laissez-faire system of letting employees wear whatever they want, JCPenney's new CEO Mike Ullman will be requiring employees to sport a red lanyard before the start of back-to-school shopping this year. Additionally, the executive may also tighten up its relaxed dress code implemented by Ron Johnson, which basically allows employes to wear whatever they want.

Johnson also implemented a system where employees could use handheld devices to ring-up purchases. Despite having more places within a store to complete transactions, many customers felt like they were being alienated when shopping at JCPenney. Most didn't trust WiFi as a secure method give its still a rare thing to see at most retailers. Many also balked at the idea of handing over a credit card to someone dressed in plain street clothes.

Ullman plans to supply about 2,300 rolling carts which will be placed in the busiest areas of JCPenney stores. The carts will provide an area for employees to fold clothes, while some might be equipped with a cash register. Employees with a mobile check-out device will also have a grey holster for the handset.

Back-to-school shopping accounts for about 12 percent of JCPenney sales. Shares are indicated higher in early trading.

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dress code
unknown on 2013-10-19 20:20:40
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while I agree that having our customer's happy can sometimes prioritize over us, that doesn't mean it should ultimately rule over it. If you have an associate who is literally uncomfortable in what they're wearing what makes you think they're going to excel in their work? We obviously all want our customers to be happy just the same however it's unfair and unjust to force associates into working in something they don't feel comfortable in. best of luck to YOU

Dress Code!
Unknown on 2013-07-09 18:05:08
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I can understand that customers can not find associates but who are we talking about. Older ppl who act like they blind to spot out a associate. How is it that hard to find someone with a name tag. How frustrating is it? Y make it seem so bad. Some high end stores in the world do not have dress codes and customers seem to be doing fine while it 3x busier then JCP. If it such a problem then keep associates at the quads where they should be at most of the time and a couple of associates doing put backs..... or at least have a company shirt to wear. Associates especially retail which is mostly young workers anyway do not feel like spending useless time to prep a business casual wear todether to come to work to be on your feet and get dirty anyway. Associates already are about to quit because of the change in the dress code. I see the only ppl complaining are older customers. If its that hard to find a customer then they need to have someone shop for them.
As far as the libby goes, I am not a big fan of them. Other places are starting to use WIFI devices like chillis where u can pay for your meal at the table. I think we should get rid of the libbys and back to the quads, But lets not take the dress code away where associates feel really comfortable.
Another thing off the subject is I do not feel like part of JCP when i visit the home office. I have to make a appointment and I still feel like a random person when I am there like I did not dedicate 10 years working for JCP since I was 16yrs old. smh.

dress code
me on 2013-08-27 23:26:44
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@unknown... I work for your competition and let me tell you, your priorities are way out of line. You complain about old customers, the dress code, etc. You are apparently interested in yourself and have forgotten that the customer always comes first. In retail, you will not always be comfortable, but your comfort comes second to the customers. You don't sound like the kind of employee I'd want on my team based on your attitude. Best of luck to you.

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