JC Penney is ranked number 153 in the fortune 500 company list in the United States for the year 2012. They are one of the largest companies, and have been around for one hundred and ten years. Recently, Management has embarked upon new strategies to improve the company and create a better shopping experience for their customers. To do so, some of their sales tactics, as well as employee training to ensure a successful transaction, as well as satisfaction of customers has been examined and improved greatly. JC Penny has embarked on a new sales strategy to boost sales for the Christmas season. Starting Black Friday through Christmas Eve, employees will be handing out more than 80 million small, holiday-themed, circular buttons to customers.
This is a ploy used to increase sales, since behind each button is the chance for customers to win great prizes. This is believed to be a better approach than mailing out coupons, since it ensures customers visit the store; increasing sales and giving them a cut above the rest of their competitors. Apart from using this strategy, the company has recently embarked on marketing strategies to equip employees with the necessary knowledge and tools, to improve sales on an everyday basis. Some of these includes: new pricing strategies, new logo and advertising.
What they have done with their sale pricing strategies is made their sale prices into everyday low prices for customers to enjoy yearly. In addition to that, there is also easy to decipher tags. JC Penny is changing the way sales are distinguished by using a new tagging system to identify different prices. A red tag shows an “Every Day” price, a white tag is a “Month-Long Value”, and a blue tag shows the “Best Price.” This provides clarity for customers and makes it easier for them.
New logo and advertising also has great influence on customers mentally. According to their press release,“the new JC Penny logo, which combines the elements that have made JC Penny an enduring American brand, by evoking the nation’s flag and JC Penney’s commitment to treating customers fair and square.” This make customers feel welcomed and appreciated and causes an increase in activity among the population of the United States.
However before this can be possible, there must be employees who are competent enough to handle the task. For this purpose there are strategic processes which must be adhered when hiring new workers. This is believed to help in obtaining the best suited applicants for the job. These include individuals who are willing; and also share in the vision of the company.
The process by which applicants are recruited into the company is similar to that of most business places; which takes the form of an interview. The interview process is intense and helps the employer to test many different skills and attributes of the employee. This is necessary since it allows employers to meet with potential workers face to face. Therefore it helps to distinguish if they are able to represent the image of the company physically both in attire and expression.
In addition it helps employers to screen potential candidates to determine the most honest and experienced candidates. Also it helps to find out the punctuality of employees, something that one has to take into consideration; since unpunctuality can lead to upsets and setbacks in a business. It will also help to give an understanding of the knowledge the prospective employer have of the company. By knowing this, one can be able to tell if potential employees know what is expected of them. After the hiring process is over, the staff must be competent enough to deal with customers. They should have the knowledge and experience to do this in such a way as to build long term relationships with customers. This is to ensure smooth transactions and to avoid the loss of customers through unfriendly habits.
JC Penny often provided training for new staff to ensure that they are able to understand and display the image that they would want to portray by the company; to ensure customer satisfaction and avoid hostility and unfriendly approach. One of the training programs offered by JC Penny for new employees is the planning and merchandising trainee program. This helps to give trainees the opportunity to experience first hand how buying, planning, allocation and inventory management integrate to produce products in JC Penny stores nation wide and on jcp.com. The 17-week training program is fast-paced and high-caliber. It gives employees the opportunity to gain insight into store environment processes, visit a logistics center, attend specialized training classes, and more.
It also fosters interaction among the staff since Planning and Merchandising team members work side-by-side with other trainees throughout the entire process. A host of projects, activities and hands-on training also helps to facilitate learning; making the process enjoyable for participants. Having senior managers mentoring and coaching you to success will only lead to great achievement. Apart from training of new applicants, development training is also very important in the process of continuing to acquire success. This is because as time change so too do people and therefore strategies that were effective ten years ago may not be as successful today. For this purpose companies have to continue to train their employees so they will be able to comply with the changes of society; since strategic training received over a decade ago won’t be profitable in the workplace today.
JC Penny provides sales associates with the skills they need to help the company achieve their business objectives in a challenging, supportive learning environment that fosters achievement. They are given the opportunity to build their skills and improve hands on relationships with customers; as they obtain experience to promote development. Associates typically are trained for a particular department, such as home decor or women wear, but may rotate from department to department based on need; they will also complete additional training for other departments. Helping them to be well rounded individuals who will be equipped enough to fill in where ever they are needed in the company.
Therefore this additional training helps employees to be better equipped than when they first entered the workplace; increasing competent performances, and improving their ability to handle situations. In addition to normal rotation training, employees also have the opportunity to participate in developmental workshops offered by the company for which they qualify. Therefore this will help to mold them into very capable young individuals, with great experience for future endeavors.
Because of the sales force strategies used at JC Penny, the company is noted as one which has both the interest of employees and customers at hand. The training offered to their staff is well executed and well received; resulting in JC Penny being described as a company that turns jobs into careers. In addition, it also creates innovative ways for customers to view the shopping experience; since the sales tactic they use make the experience much more easier, straight forward and convenient than most of their competitors.
Courtney from Study Moose
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