We shopped at Kohl's and JCPenney and both had real issues. Here's why I'd rather shop at Kohl's anyway.
Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
- Kohl's and JCPenney both have a similar inventory, but there's a lot that separates the two retailers' strategies for success.
- JCPenney is one of the largest department stores in the US, but the company recently hit a wall in terms of sales and growth, reporting a 9% same-store sales decrease for the second quarter of 2019. It also plans to close 27 stores in 13 states.
- Kohl's also reported a drop in sales of 2.9% in stores open for more than a year in its second-quarter earnings. But Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass said foot traffic in its stores has increased from the company's partnership with Amazon.
- We shopped at both stores and saw why Kohl's has mostly managed to avoid mass store closures and outperform similar retailers like JCPenney.
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Kohl's and JCPenney are both struggling a bit.
To critics, JCPenney represents a lack of specialization when it comes to the consumer.
"JCPenney hasn't created an experience that solidifies a place in consumers' shopping habits," Kathy Gersch, executive vice president of the consultancy firm Kotter, told Business Insider's Mary Hanbury in May 2018.
Kohl's is doing slightly better.
The company reported in its second-quarter earnings of 2019 that sales dropped 2.9% in stores open for more than a year.
Nine out of 10 Kohl's stores are in suburban strip malls rather than enclosed shopping malls, so declining foot traffic in malls hasn't affected the chain as strongly. The retailer's recent partnership with Amazon to accept returns for the e-commerce giant in its stores has also helped boost traffic nearly 24% in the three weeks after the partnership began, data from InMarket revealed.
We shopped at both stores and saw similar issues in each, such as messy displays, outdated merchandise, and eclectic and overwhelming products. However, the measures Kohl's has taken to boost traffic online and in stores made it clear why it is outperforming JCPenney.
Here was our experience: