Department store chain J.C. Penney is gearing up for its first ever Manhattan store and is getting some mixed reviews from the Herald Square neighborhood. Among the new store's neighbors is the legendary Macy's store of 'Miracle on 34th Street' fame which first opened in 1902. J.C. Penney has been experiencing its fair share of struggling during
the recession. Having stuck to the outdated methods of print and radio
ad campaigns, Penney's saw steady declines in items like furniture and
jewelry since the end of 2007 when the recession began. Earlier this year the company decided that a giant step toward development would be the key to pulling them out of their sales slump.
In a continuing effort to revamp the brand's image away from frumpy and generic fashion, the company will open its 150,000 square foot Manhattan flagship among a much trendier retail community in the hopes that style savvy shoppers will choose their store as an affordable yet hip shopping option. Penney's previous efforts to gain a more current reputation have included product collaborations with designers such as Nicole Miller, Chris Madden, and makeup brand Sephora. Now reps for the company are already speculating the Manhattan flagship will quickly become the largest sales generator yet, saying the placement of the store, "is going to have a halo effect on the entire brand." But the neighboring location of Macy's, who has suffered higher losses than Penney's due to its higher priced merchandise, does not seem to be worried of the potential competition. The company spokesman Jim Sluzewski pointed out that the Herald Square location's 2.2 million-square-foot flagship is the world's largest store and one of New York's biggest tourist attractions.
Time will only tell if a shift actually occurs around the retail giants of Herald Square but Wall Street has already claimed they will be watching as the trends unfold. "Penney's has been around for a long time, but it hasn't had the
visibility of its competitors," said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of
real estate firm Prudential Douglas Elliman's retail leasing sales
division. But Consolo admitted to a potentially significant change occurring when Penneys sets up shop due to the financial climate of today, saying the area's higher-priced stores will have undoubtedly have "reason to be concerned."
Article Source: The Houston Chronicle
Photo source: msnbc