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Front Page » April 25, 2002 » The Business Journal » J.C. Penney Celebrates 100 Years, Price Store Second Olde...
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J.C. Penney Celebrates 100 Years, Price Store Second Oldest in Chain

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Celebrating 100 years are JCPenney associates in Price Bonnie Hislop, Peggy Young, Marshall Hurst, manager, and Leslie Childs. the local J.C.Penney was opened in 1910 and called, "The Golden Rule." It is the second oldest J.C.Penneys still in operation in the entire chain.

J.C.Penney is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month and the store in Price has been here in Eastern Utah since 1910. It was the 12th J.C.Penney store to be built, constructed only 10 years after the company began. According to Marshall Hurst it is the second oldest store still in business in the entire chain. The original store was located in the Hard Hat building and a sign in the alley still indicates it's early name, "The Golden Rule."

In a business where fashion and consumer tastes change overnight, staying in business for 100 years is reason to celebrate. For the J.C.Penney Company, Inc., the celebration of a century in retailing is an affirmation of its ability to change and adapt with the times and tastes of its customers while adhering to its timeless mission: providing quality merchandise at good prices.

"Mr. Penney had the attitude that when you take good care of customers, profits take good care of themselves," said Allen Questrom, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Plano, Texas, based retailer. "And our history bears him out. The company has been most successful when J.C.Penney associates at all levels made the customer the sun of the J.C.Penney universe."

The Company's 100th anniversary celebration is focusing on the customer as well. The local storebegan its special celebrations a couple weeks ago.

In the early days, starting in Kemmerer, Wyo., in 1902, frontier miners and farmers and their families turned to J.C.Penney for blue jeans and other work clothes, shoes, fabrics and sewing needs. Today, busy working families turn to J.C.Penney in cities, towns and suburbs across America for affordable fashions and home accessories. A few surprising facts about America's 43rd largest corporation:

•J.C.Penney is the No. 1 department store choice among teens for school clothes.

•The company owns America's fourth-largest drugstore chain, Eckerd Corp., which has more than 2,600 stores in 20 states.

•J.C.Penney operates America's largest chain of department-store hair salons with more than 900 locations, including 24 full-service day spas.

• is the largest retailer of apparel and home furnishings on the Internet.

•Some of the country's best-known apparel brands - names like Worthington, Stafford, and the Original Arizona Jean Company - are private brands available only at J.C.Penney. Stafford men's dress shirts, for example, are the best-selling dress shirts in America.

Modern J.C.Penney stores are a far cry from the small shop that James Cash Penney opened in 1902. J. C.Penney is still changing to respond to consumers in the 21st century. The company's new leadership has launched initiatives to close unprofitable stores, update older stores, improve merchandise, beef up advertising, reduce expenses and modernize systems to speed the flow of goods to stores.

The results of what is expected to be a two- to four-year turnaround began to show in 2001. J.C.Penney department stores sales were $14.8 billion in the fiscal year ending in January 2002, a 1.5 percent increase from the previous year, while sales in comparable department stores (those open at least a year) increased 3.3 percent.

The company's commitment to serving customers with merchandise they want to buy at value prices has led it through many transformations over the years as society and shopping habits changed.

Mr. Penney called his first store The Golden Rule, because it was his personal and business philosophy to treat others the way he himself would want to be treated. In 1913, his growing chain of stores incorporated in Utah as the J.C.Penney Company, Inc., and the Golden Rule name was phased out. In 1914, the company moved its headquarters from Salt Lake City to New York City to be closer to its major sources of merchandise.

The chain grew and grew into "a nationwide institution," as one of its early logos proclaimed. After World War II, J.C.Penney followed its customers into the new suburbs that sprang up around major cities, and later into regional shopping malls.

The J.C.Penney Catalog made its debut in 1963.

J.C.Penney Company, Inc. is one of America's largest department store, drugstore, catalog, and e-commerce retailers, employing approximately 270,000 associates. The Company operates approximately 1,080 J.C.Penney department stores in all 50 states.

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April 25, 2002
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