Friday, June 30, 2017


I just found out this week that the local J.C. Penney store is closing. (It's in the same shopping center as the place where I get my hair cut.) This makes me sad but I have to admit that it's merely a sentimental reaction. There has always been a J.C. Penney store everywhere I have ever lived. It's just one of those places that have been around all my life and seems like it should continue to be around forever.

But the truth is I almost never shop there. I can literally count on one hand the number of items I have purchased there in the past 20 years. I go there more often than that - or I used to - but I rarely find what I'm looking for or anything that I would ever want. Part of the reason, of course, is that I make most of my own clothes and J.C. Penney mostly sells clothes, but I do buy things like sweaters, socks, undergarments, jeans, coats, jackets, and the occasional t-shirt. Every time I look for these items at JCP either they don't have my size or (usually) don't have anything I like. Everything is all so "trendy" and fussy and often slightly weird. There are no basics.

Obviously, I am not the only person with this problem. I never see more than one or two other customers in the store at the same time. Message to all the stores: Stop blaming millennials for all your problems. I'm not a millennial and I don't shop in your store either. It's not millennials' fault (or anyone else's) if you don't have anything in your stores that anyone wants to buy.


  1. I feel that way about Kohl's. A few years back, they were my go-to for clothes. Then all of a sudden:
    1. the XL white blouses they started carrying were TOO SMALL for me.
    2. They shifted to "1970s malaise" colors - dark greens, eggplant, taupe, grey
    3. Everything is dark colors now and everything is heavy knit fabric. Um, I like in Southern Oklahoma? Black heavy-knit dresses in summer are a no-go.

    I dunno. More and more I'm thinking occasional purchases from "niche" retailers who hopefully have enough dedicated customers (and lower overhead, because they're catalogs) is the way to go - have been v. happy with Vermont Country Store recently and am considering buying another M. Mac dress from them.

    There's really nowhere - here OR in Sherman - that I particularly want to go clothes-shopping at. It's kind of a giant pain in Sherman because the places I might shop at are all scattered, and here in town we have an upscaley place, "Cowgirl Shops" (that carry sizes smaller than I wear - apparently they are for VERY young, very active girls), and then the wal-mart.

    1. I think part of the problem is that they're trying to attract millennials, because they're now the age that stores have always tried to attract, but they haven't been able to figure them out yet. It's not just that they shop online more. That's just an excuse. The desire to touch and to try on before you buy will never go out of style, at least not until they invent true virtual reality.

      I think manufacturers are also partly responsible but it seems to me that the big chains could have some influence over what they produce so the stores don't get off the hook for this.

    2. The ridiculous thing is, it's Boomers and Xes that HAVE THE MONEY. There's so much ink and electrons spilled about how Millennials are broke and anti-materialistic and anti-capitalistic - you'd think the stores would think about what side their bread is buttered on.

      But I guess youth and coolness beats stability and loyalty in a customer.

      I thought a lot of the "youth oriented" chains like Forever 21 and the Limited had already failed....