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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

JC Penney Closing In Janesville After Newspaper Reports Record Area Retail Sales

Coming a little more than two weeks after the Janesville Gazette posted one their "ambassadors of optimism" puff pieces boasting of record retail sales in Rock County for 2013 is the news that one of the anchors of the Janesville Mall, J.C. Penney, will be shutting down.

Channel 3000 Excerpt:
The J.C. Penney in Janesville is one of 33 stores across the country set to close in May.

According to a statement from the company, Janesville and the other stores were under-performing.

Seventy-one employees will lose their jobs when the Janesville store closes. The retailer expects the closures to save the company about $65 million a year.

"It's sad. It's been here for a long time, and we do shop here. I'm just shocked, “Janesville resident Ken Hjertquist said. He's concerned how the closure will impact the community.

"There's a lot of unemployment here, we survived GM but we'll see what happens now," Hjertquist said.

How does the troubled retailer's planned closing mesh with the earlier Gazette story?

To be fair, the Gazette story about record retail sales was based on a straight-up comparison of a 2.3% increase in 2013 dollars to sales in 2008 - which by the way is not fair at all. Unfortunately, the "record retail sales" story was narrated by two of Gov. Scott Walker's local boosters, James Otterstein and John Beckord, for low info reader consumption. It contained zero professional analysis.


Anonymous said...

"How does the troubled retailer's planned closing mesh with the earlier Gazette story?"
It doesn't and they are not related in any way, shape or form, despite your attempts to link them and say the Gazette is sending mixed messages.
Janesville and Rock County could've had a record year when it comes to consumer spending. That doesn't mean it would've saved JC Penneys or any other business that folded.
If, as John Beckord said in the earlier story, it was "people voting with their pocketbook," then maybe people in Janesville didn't like what was offered at JC Penneys. That means they spent their money (i.e. voted) elsewhere - Kohl's, Sears, Old Navy, etc.
Personally, I was in Penneys once last year. Didn't see a darn thing I wanted to buy.
Don't blame the Gazette. Blame Penneys.

Lou Kaye said...

I'm not "blaming" the Gazette for JC penney's pull-out all. It's more of a "just saying" observation. But I am taking issue with what appears to be a politically supported and motivated publicity campaign of false optimism that the Gazette repeatedly extrapolates and spins from various reports.

A 2.3% increase in sales over 2008 is better than no increase, but when durable goods and core cpi indexes are considered along with the 2 to 3% annual inflation rate, we would need about a 6% increase in sales over 2008 to show measurable growth and optimism.

However, I am an optimist as I believe many doors can open when one is closed. But I think people in general want truth and clear analysis that is not driven by an agenda. That is all I ever ask from the MSM.

nonquixote said...

Open For Business, apparently some more retail space will soon be available as 5 JC Penny stores in WI are closing.

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