CityPlace Rendering

The approved for development but since foreclosed upon CityPlace parcels stretching from 935 to 965 Market Street between Fifth and Sixth are now in contract to be bought with JCPenney signed-on to be the development’s anchor tenant.

83 thoughts on “CityPlace Revived With Plans For J.C. Penney As The Anchor Tenant”
  1. It will be intresting to see what JCP can come up with to attract an urban crowd. The current mall concept of the store wouldn’t succeed IMO.

  2. “The current mall concept of the store wouldn’t succeed IMO”
    It appears to be working next door, Westfield and Nordstrom ‘malls’ — not sure why it wouldn’t work a block over. Although, JCP (which I didn’t realize still existed), will probably need to rebrand — and draw locals — the others mentioned appear to substantially cater to tourists.
    “and perhaps explains why when Target donates to anti-gay politicians, JC Penney’s does this…”
    as gay dad, especially appreciate the reminder about Target’s anti-gay contributions. Must research more– and channel my dollars accordingly.

  3. In this area, JCP doesn’t draw the type or number of shoppers that other stores need, and so if it’s just JCP, it generally doesn’t work as an anchor tenant in this area. Couple that with a worse location than, and competition from, other malls too close by, and they have their work cut out for them.
    Check out the Yelp reviews for Vallco fashion mall in Cupertino, with a JCP on one end, a Sears at the other, and a bunch of mostly vacant stores in between. The reviews are hilarious: it’s basically dead there. It’s like a neutron bomb went off in there: tons of merchandise, no people.
    What’s funny is the attempts at removing Vallco stores to put in the biggest alternative possible, because it will remove the most number of other stores. So they don’t just replace stores with a theater, they replace them with an IMAX theater. They don’t just replace a store with an arcade, they put in an entire ice skating rink. The place is still completely dead and half vacant.
    Many of the yelp reviews suggest just tearing the whole place down. Some of them beg the management to tear it down.
    Most are like this one:
    Possibly the most depressing mall in the Bay Area. I feel like a puppy is being mauled somewhere every time I step into this place.
    Many of the storefronts are empty. The remainder are really random, like GNC, Hot Topic, and an Asian candy store. The flagship stores are either places one should never go to (Sears and JC Penny)
    The boosters here will cheer anything.

  4. I was walking past this lot last week and was feeling very glum about the loss of CityPlace and trying to imagine what it would look like with the transformed street life. The resurrection is a symbol of SFs incredible business boom. Look at all the cranes dotting the skyline. It also looks like most of the supes are on board with the Warriors arena. This city is (finally) transforming into a metropolitan force to be reckoned with and I think it will become the dominant west coast city by the next decade.

  5. Outstanding news? Are you kidding me? JCP is just about the lamest department store besides Sears, unless of course you’re into tools or frilly kitchen curtains.

  6. “They don’t just replace a store with an arcade, they put in an entire ice skating rink.”
    I haven’t been anywhere near Vallco in many years, but I do know the ice rink has been there forever, long before the mall was (apparently) dying. It didn’t replace anything.
    As for the rest, well, it’s a mall. I feel like I’m dying inside whenever I step foot in one. But other people apparently like them so I hope City Place will be successful.

  7. I fail to understand all the negativity regarding J.C. Penny investing their own money to move into the currently defunct CityPlace.

  8. @Tipster
    JCPenny is obviously revamping their brand strategy to become more relevant as they recently hired the former head of retail stores for Apple as their CEO. I would expect changes not only in branding and pricing but also in their real estate strategy and this push into city place reflects that.
    I don’t really understand how Vallco mall in Vallejo is relevant to this anyway…I am sure JCPenny would love to get out of that lease if they could. Whether their new strategy pans out or not remains to be seen but what you are talking about reflects their decision making from decades ago by prior management.

  9. I’m sure JC Penney will do just fine, after all there’s a Ross and an Old Navy just up the street, and soon to be a Target. It’s not all Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.

  10. I think this is great news! I’ll be happy to shop there. I’ll be happy to make the trip downtown (which I try to avoid like the plague) just to shop there. I think we need more “real” stores and hopefully this store will be accepted by the people.

  11. tipster – JC Penny has been at Vallco forever including back in the 80s when the mall was a lot more vibrant. I don’t know enough about the mall biz but something other than JCP has caused Vallco’s decline. Perhaps Santana Row and Valley Fair down the road are sucking up all of the business? Or it could be the massive change in Cupertino’s demographics over the last two decades.
    If you want a really depressing mall may I suggest Somersville Town Center in Antioch?

  12. I remember using the ice rink at Vallco in the early 90’s, before the mall turned to crap. It didn’t replace anything.
    Vallco has gone downhill because Valley Fair (less than 3 miles away and several times the size) expanded massively, and the citizens of Cupertino voted to not allow any residential to built around the mall (like basically every other mall has done in the last 20 years).

  13. Funny all the JCP haters.
    Have you even been to their website. Maybe not the height of fashion, but their homewear department rivals Macy’s. I’ve already bought some stuff online from them to show my support for their stance on marriage equality.
    They are clearly trying to rebrand themselves as Target did way-back-when.
    I think they will be a great success. What are the options for that price point downtown? Old Navy?

  14. yeah, actually, good point about the new boss at jc penny coming from apple retail – it wouldn’t surprise me if this guy were going to use this as a prototype shop for his new vision of the company. at any rate, i have absolutely no doubt that jc penny in there doing their thing is aboub 100,000x better than the boarded up buildings and human feces that we now have. and i’m glad that the parcels weren’t split up and sold at auction, as planned. really, people should look at this news as the city having dodged a bullet.

  15. OK, Manhattan Mall it is!
    Two stars. JCP moved in in 2008.
    Most of the reviews for MM are like the one at Vallco:
    JC friggin’ Penney, are you kidding me? What, were Chess King and Thom McAn not available to take a meeting? Was Hot Topic “too trendy” for this mall? What a sorry excuse of an upgrade.
    I actually went to JCpenny’s basement space where the food court had reside. The place was stocked with merchandise but there was a total of 6 customers on the entire floor. LOL, good job JCpenny, good job Manhattan mall.
    This mall sucks!
    When you walk into this mall, it just screams to you that it’s existence is unnecessary and there’s nothing there for you.
    It sucks.
    The worse mall I have ever been to…wow! This is an embarrassment to what a “mall” should be.
    This mall really sucks ,all the stores in there suck! no food court nothing crappy Jc Penny took over and they suck.
    Thanks for your help proving me right, Cheerleaders!

  16. This is getting sad.. Pulling random Yelp reviews to back up your bias? That’s like pulling random bible quotes. You can find one to back up anything you feel like saying. It’s ridiculous.

  17. I find the cheerleaders rather curious as well. ANYTHING that is new seems “great” and if anyone dares to show concern they are shouted down as NIMBYs that should move to Fresno.
    Well, Fresno LOVES J.C.Penny but I do not, and this store should not be put on what SHOULD be the city’s premier boulevard. Can you imagine J.C.Penny going in on Michigan Avenue? I still think Market Street should be one of the world’s signature boulevards instead of a street I refuse to show out of town guests.
    Do some GOOGLE research to learn how Chicago created the “magnificent mile” by removing low budget stores and creating America’s most popular urban shopping boulevard. San Francisco has a lot to learn.

  18. ^lol
    The same Michigan Ave that has a Marshalls?
    Can you get more low budget than that store? lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

  19. ^^^Yes, the same Michigan Avenue. Laugh all you want, but I think the retail/office/housing/hotel mix of Michigan Avenue should be the standard we should hope Market Street achieves.

  20. Yes, anyone that is happy to have JCP move onto market street so that a boarded up dump can be replaced is a silly cheerleader. SF is for rich people or homeless people, so either leave it boarded up or put in more high end shops. Silly cheerleaders.

  21. Michigan Avenue is not possible here in San Francisco. We do not have the population, density or tourism to support a huge shopping district like Chicago’s downtown.

  22. I will not be surprised if JC Penney pulls out of this spot. They have been losing money hand over fist since they implemented their “no coupons needed” strategy.
    BTW SS, it’s spelled “Penney”, not “Penny.” Sorry for being a spelling nazi, I can’t help it.

  23. JCP will clean up here. SF has a small population of wealthy people, but the typical disposable income is not all that high. Not that far off from Fresno, really, and with high housing costs people need mid/low-range retail options. Mervyn’s did a bang-up business here. (it did not go bankrupt because of poor SF sales). Target will also clean up at Metreon for the same reasons. The 99% have to shop somewhere, and they constitute, well, about 97% of SF.

  24. Penney’s had a horrible 1st quarter and they are bringing back sales (apparently their customers didn’t understand the three tier pricing). However, the company is committed to the brand change rollout.
    The plus side is that they only have to lease half their locations as they own the rest.

  25. Actually, tipster, the comparison was to the JC Penney’s in the Manhattan Mall, which got 3 1/2 stars on average on Yelp. It has its place for certain types of goods. Obviously, CityPlace, and new structure, will not be the same as the older Manhattan Mall. It is trivial, even for you tipster, to try to cherry pick reviews on Yelp.

  26. Wow, who knew that JCP would be so controversial. I love the comment about SF having only rich people and homeless people. I’m glad to see someone else is thinking clearly. JCP will be a colossal failure in SF. And anyone who compares JCP with Old Navy knows nothing about retail

  27. The Chicago envy on this site cracks me up at times. There are only two cities in the country that can match or beat SF on urban shopping districts – NYC and (maybe) Chicago.
    I personally find SF’s criss-crossed cluster of retail streets much, much nicer than a multi-mile long 8-lane wide pedestrian-hostile windswept Michigan Ave, but the street does have a lot of retail.
    The bottom line is that no other American city besides those three is even in the same realm.

  28. just to return to the main point – who cares if jc penney does poorly? that’s the anchor tenant this project needs to move forward, and once this thing is built, getting tenants if jc penney moves out will be a snap.
    honestly, you’d have to be an idiot to worry at all about jc penney’s plans or whatever. like, who cares?

  29. I also find the comparisons of SF to a city built in a corn field humorous. NYC rivals SF in a lot of ways, and vise versa. But Chicago? c’mon!

  30. So now, JCP becomes the Americas Cup of stores: something in which none of us has shown any interest, suddenly turns into the greatest thing ever, once it comes to SF.
    But you guys have missed my point. It had nothing to do with JCP as a business. What I said was that it makes a lousy anchor tenant because it doesn’t draw enough of the right kind of traffic to the other stores in the mall.
    Home depot would be perhaps another example of a bad anchor: people come looking for what they need, come in, and get out. Tons of the wrong kind of traffic – the other stored will see none of it. JCP serves a unique clientele that most other stores don’t target, and their customers don’t tend to linger.
    I used the neutron bomb analogy, which one of the MM commenters repeated exactly: tons of merchandise, no people.
    I didn’t say JCP would go out of business: it would be better if they did. What you end up with, if JCP stays, is a depressing zombie mall. The drug dealers in that area will just move indoors.
    It doesn’t happen right away. First, retailers move in, but they don’t make enough, and start to close. The only ones who move in to replace them are amateurs who don’t pay attention to the lack of traffic after the initial rush. And then you end up with a half empty mall of amateur shopkeepers. That’s why malls anchored by JCP turn into the same things on both coasts – depressing.
    A half-empty, deepressing mall revitalizes nothing.

  31. JC Penney will bring in customers looking for inexpensive clothing and housewares, and presumably the mall will be marketed to other retailers of moderately-priced goods. But the other stores can stand on their own, whether or not JC Penney succeeds. Under current SF regulations, JC Penney could only occupy 1/3 of the 260k SF, though they might get an exemption. Suburban malls rely heavily on department store anchors to get people to drive miles to shop, but department store anchors are less important in the center of the city. The shopping district as a whole is the anchor for the mall.

  32. @tipster – JC Penney is an anchor in Bellevue Square, by far the most successful mall north of SF on the west coast.

  33. Maybe I am confused, but is what a lot of you are saying is that you think Market Street should have stores like J.C.Penney? I was sort of hoping for residential towers like Wilshire Boulevard in west Los Angeles mixed with hotels, offices, museums and shops like Chicago or NYC.

  34. I’m in the “something is better than nothing” camp, but I do question the long-term viability of large indoor malls. Personally, I don’t think a lot of local residents are going to shop here, but it’s easy access on BART and people will be coming in from the surrounding areas. Price conscious consumers can hit up Target, Old Navy, Forever 21, Westfield and now Penney’s. I also applaud Penney’s rebranding. I hope it works.
    However, what you don’t want is for this to suffer the same fate as the Metreon. Tipster does bring up a good point that the drug-dealers and gangsters need to be kept out. Personally, I’d like to see more residential going up on Market… I don’t know anything about its current zoning, but ultimately more mixed use projects could save this area. More office space combined with residential towers both providing private security would really transform this sadly blighted area.

  35. @oh well – I think Market St should eventually have every type of store imaginable. We have the high end, so it’s nice to get some mid and low end (and some large department stores) to compliment that.
    And no, I don’t want Market to look anything like the traffic-choked and pedestrian-hostile Wilshire Blvd.

  36. ^Um, so? Your statements make it seem as though a JC Penney existing immediately spells death for a mall because then it won’t be able to convince other higher end places to locate there. It takes longer to walk from the JC Penney to the Nordstrom in Bellevue Square than it will from the JC Penney to the Nordstrom on Market St.

  37. @anon, where were you when Barney’s finally came to San Francisco 20 years after Los Angeles and Chicago? I hope you were as happy about THAT as you are about J.C.Penney now. The booster fireworks for a J.C.Penney coming to Market are rather over the top on this thread.

  38. Barney’s occupied a building on a bustling street that wasn’t really in the same need of improvement as Market between 5th and 6th, so no, I was not as excited.
    Also, Barney’s occupies pretty much the same segment as a dozen other places that were already in the area, and I’ve probably bought two things there ever. Yawn.

  39. I question the success/long-term viability of JCP as an anchor tenant also. Anchor tenants serve to bring traffic to a mall, and I just do not see that in JCP. I remember shopping in a JCP ONCE in my entire life, and don’t think I even bought anything at that time. When I think of JCP, I think mom jeans and cheap-quality, boring clothing. Perhaps I’m just ignorant, because I have not been into a JCP in decades, and I have never gone (driven) out of my way to shop at a JCP.
    JCP needs new buyers for their [re]brand[ing]. To appeal to more consumers, JCP will have to succeed in achieving a “younger,” more fashionable and high(er)-quality products image. I do like their new logo so far, however, and wish them the utmost best of luck. I do want to see them succeed — in this space and all others.

  40. Where are these clueless people coming from saying that we need housing on Market st.? Do you folks even live in the same SF that I do? Because right now, as we speak, there is a huge towering complex under construction at Market between 7th and 8th with 1,900 units. There is another 700 unit story residential tower under construction this instant (I challenge you to go for a walk and take a look for yourselves!) at Market @ 10th. A block away from Crescent Heights on Market @ 9th a 260 unit residential high rise is nearing construction.
    So, with just these projects I listed, we are going to have almost 3,000 new residential units directly on Market or right off Market within a 2 block radius between 8th and 10th streets.
    Wilshire Blvd.? LOL! Talk about suburban strip mall…

  41. I encourage all those that are curious (and not just outright haters) to check out jcp’s website for yourselves. They carry brands such as Sephora, St. John’s Bay, Levi’s, Docker’s, Adidas. They are having a June sale on polos for $9 – 20 a pop. I think they will do quite well and I would have no problem shopping there for certain items like underwear, belts, polos, and casual work outfits.
    I can see them marketing to the young gay demographic and getting all the Castro residents to take the F line or the Metro down Market for a quick spree.

  42. @sf, the post said “Wilshire in WEST L.A”., which has a very high density . THE 4 miles from Westwood to Beverly Hills is lined on both sides with 15 to 35 story apartment and condo towers, many of which are priced similar to Russian Hill or Nob Hill condos. I would say that for a street over 22 miles long, Wilshire has a density that Market would WISH it could have, and I find the mid-Wilshire museum district, and westside stretches to be some of the great archtectural theater of any American city. The stretch through Beverly Hills is outstanding for shopping and hotels, and Santa Monica has really done a great job improving their part of Wilshire.
    Since Market is to be Dockers, Levis and J.C.Penney, I guess I am hoping that Van Ness could be more like Wilshire then. The point of my and other posts is NOT that we do not want change, for WE DO. The difference is, I have always dreamed that Market could be the showcase street of San Francisco, and it is obvious for years that it will never be.
    @SF, you just keep drinking the Kool-Aid that San Francisco is perfect, and I will keep traveling the world discovering that there are a lot of cities doing things a LOT BETTER than we are, and a lot doing a lot worse as well. I am stll telling friends how impressed I was with the subway system in Seoul I experienced last month, and I will always look forward to visiting Michigan Avenue, Bond Street, and Manhattan for shopping.

  43. @oh well –
    Wilshire in West LA has tall buildings, yes. But population and jobs density is MUCH lower than what we already have around Market St because of huge setbacks, open spaces, and parking garages. Certainly not at all something we should want to emulate, unless we’re aching for Market to become the traffic-choked nightmare that Wilshire is.
    My hope is that Wilshire will improve when the subway is in place there, because it does have some great architecture and cool stuff, but man, what a depressing street to try to get anywhere or just hang out on. It’s a place that you GO to, but not a place you want to live or work or go about your daily life on. A true tourist street.

  44. Who said SF was perfect?
    I am just exhibiting civic pride, which citizens of every city in the world do.
    If you are looking for someone to blindly bash the city I live and love like some troll, look elsewhere.

  45. “…the traffic-choked nightmare that Wilshire is”
    I don’t think that Wilshire is that bad. I walked the entire length one day and felt it was a comfortable walk and agree with “oh well” that it provides great architectural theater, even in the run-down part just west of downtown. I’d rate it a 6 or 7/10 for walkability. For some reason Market doesn’t feel as good. Maybe because Market is often gloomy and windy or perhaps just because it is more familiar.
    If you’re looking for traffic choked nightmares we have plenty to choose from. Market and Wilshire are hardly the worst.

  46. I’m more than happy to let any company that wants to set up shop do so and let the free market decide whether or not they have a viable business.
    If JCP wants to put up their own money to take a swing at it, let them.
    The problem, of course is that that area of market street already has a thriving entrepreneurial culture of small businessmen supplying goods and services that draws people from all around. It’s just not goods and services that the town fathers approve of.

  47. All one has to do is look to what was proposed 100 years ago to see that the issues with Market Street have been discussed before. It is not the business tenants that make Market Street underwhelming, it is the lack of imaginative urban planning and landscaping along the entire length that is where I point fingers.
    Market has the public transit and the right location to be an iconic urban street, yet it goes terribly wrong in many parts and does feel “gloomy” where it should feel vibrant.
    Back in the day when planners and designers “made no small plans” all one has to do is look at the proposed design for the plaza in front of the Ferry building 100 years ago to see how memorable Market could have been. The plaza was a romantic version of Bernini’s St. Peter’s colonnade and included a large arch straight out of Paris at the start of the Market “boulevard”. Back when San Francisco was not afraid to dream BIG the plans being floated for Market included fountains, plazas, landscaped divided boulevards for trolley/auto/and pedestrian traffic and traffic circles instead of signals. The western side of the original Market Street design reminds one of Paris, and the eastern side reminds me of Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. (another great street!)
    I thinnk Burnham, A. Page Brown and Ernest Coxhead were involved in what was to be the new Market Street after the earthquake, and the only book I can think of that highlights this project is “On the Edge of the World”.
    I am not saying that in modern times some of these ideas are still appropriate, but I would be all for seeing a complete re-imagining of the entire length of Market Street. A city and region that claims to be so “wealthy” should be able to get this done!

  48. Fountains might look cool on Market, but what makes it such a great street now is all of the LIFE and the skyscrapers soaring over the streets. You don’t get that kind of experience in any quaint European city. Also, the diversity in transportation adds to the liveliness- subways, streetcars, buses, bicycles, clueless vehicles, pedicabs.
    I really like the extra wide sidewalks made of brick and statues along the street all the way to Dolores.
    Together with the surrounding Union Square and Moscone areas, this area is one of the densest and heavily foot trafficked in the country (and definitely rivals European cities I have visited).

  49. The transportation is there but not the “life”. And I am not sure the wide sidewalks help most of the distance of Market to look anything other than drab. Most of Market could use sidewalks far less wide, and instead substitute more landscaping and street “furniture” (fountains, trees, benches, kioks, plazas, etc.). Look at the picture for this article and tell me that looks “great”???????
    Don’t fool yourself, the fact that the “J.C.Penney is coming to Market Street” is such big news just proves how sad and undesirable Market street is.
    Don’t confuse loving where you live with trying to cover over the open sores that this city still contains. And you “SF” seem to feel it is your duty to shut down discussion about how to fix a street, neighborhood or plaza. There is nothing wrong with admitting some things need correcting without tired trashing of cities in Europe and America that have little concern for what is some San Franciscan’s INFERIORITY COMPLEX towards other world cities. Market Street does not “rival” world class cities premier boulevards and needs a lot of work before it should attempt to try.

  50. @oh well,
    It sounds like you have a real turn on for grand boulevards, which is fine, but odd to me. When I go cities with grand boulevards, the first thing I want to do is leave them after I’ve seen them once (looking at you Champs Elysees), as they’re complete tourist traps doing not a whole lot for locals.
    Would you rather Union Square empty out so that we can move Saks, Barneys, etc to Market in order to have a “grand boulevard”? Makes no sense to me, but whatever floats your boat, I s’pose.

  51. Oh, yes, the inferiority complex rebuttal. Works every time, doesn’t it?
    No inferiority complex here. We have the highest quality of life in the US. The best weather outside of southern California with an even better climate.
    But I’m sure more benches will really turn things around.

  52. @SF – Good One! It is true Champs Elysees is best experienced late at night in the back seat of a taxi while feeling a buzz of good wine and food vs walking with throngs of tourists during the middle of the day. The taxi horns alone would make most San Francisco nimbys legislate to remove all horns from San Francisco taxis.

  53. “The best weather outside of southern California”
    I disagree. I grew up in Southern California and prefer the SF weather. Summers are too hot down south.
    JCP on Market > boarded up buildings

  54. @ Rillion
    I guess it depends where you go- I should have specified. Southern California to me is Santa Barbara down to San Diego within 5 miles of the ocean. Perhaps Hawaii would be a better example. But, yes, the weather is very nice here too and gives us the greenery and abundant flora that we can take for granted.

  55. And if there is a place in the world we should definitely not be emulating right now, it is Europe.
    Wow. Quite a bold blanket statement. Where to start:
    1 – Please define “Europe”. There’s a difference between 25% unemployment in Spain and less than 1/3 of that in northern EU. This similar to saying to people not to emulate the US because of a depressed rust belt region. You’d stay away from NY because of expensive blight in Detroit? Should I stay from Canada because of the students demonstrating in Montréal?
    2 – Being unemployed in most parts of the EU is much more desirable than being unemployed in the US. There’s the extended benefits, health insurance, etc. Unemployment is capped in the US. In many countries in EU unemployment is proportional. Sure they pay for it in taxes. But there’s a good safety net.
    3 – Regarding urban planning, I’d say EU is very advanced. Many city centers were built before the advent of the car. They became clogged and almost unlivable in the late 20th century. But a recent trend has created large pedestrian city centers with modern transportation. Go visit Montpellier, France for instance. An incredibly large portion of the city has been transformed. It’s young, vibrant, trendy. A sea change compared to what I saw back in the 80s.

  56. ^Gah! How horrible! A new store not opening on Market! Why won’t we ever learn that we need one street with all stores to compete with Chicago and LA?!?!?

  57. ^I think most folks are saying that Market doesn’t compare to either of those streets, and that’s is a GOOD thing. The last thing that I want in a small city like SF is a big waste of space like those super-wide tourist streets.
    Maybe if SF was a couple times the size that is we’d have room for something like that.

  58. Look “anon”, just give it up. There is no “wasted space” in Paris or London. I am sure you think it is a “GOOD” thing Market Street is not like Michigan Avenue, and the video does not lie, and you are RIGHT, Market Street is NOTHING like Michigan Ave, Wilshire BLVD or Fifth Ave.

  59. Who in the world said that there was wasted space in Paris?
    Who was talking about London in any way, shape, or form?
    Michigan Ave is fine, it’s just MUCH, MUCH, MUCH less interesting than a shopping district like Union Square, IMO, if we have to choose one or the other (and we do, since we’re a small city).
    Market St from 5th west does suck, I’m not at all denying that. I just don’t want it to turn into Michigan Ave, as that would mean making Union Square and the surrounding area suck. We don’t have the population for a shopping boulevard and a shopping district. I prefer the shopping district.

  60. That Apple guy, Johnson, seems to be doing a bang up job at JCP:
    In January, Johnson unveiled his four-year plan to transform J.C. Penney into America’s favorite store. In a presentation to investors and suppliers, he described a department store built around a so-called town square, with as many as 100 boutiques carrying items made by well-known brands specifically for J.C. Penney. The first store-within-a-store he announced will sell home goods by Martha Stewart.
    ‘Fair and Square’
    Johnson’s strategy was deceptively simple: quickly replace J.C. Penney’s relatively high-list prices — which it aggressively discounted — with lower everyday “fair and square prices.”
    The changes have yet to bear fruit. The department-store chain, with 1,100 U.S. stores, had a $163 million loss in the first three months of 2012 as revenue slid 20 percent, the biggest quarterly decline in more than seven years . Sales at stores open more than a year fell an average of 19 percent. The number of people coming into J.C. Penney stores dropped by 10 percent , and the number of those who bought something fell, too, by 5 percent.
    Traffic down 10%? Should be a barn burner anchor tenant. The other tenants should be lining up for spaces!

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