Attention Shoppers! American Retailers Coming to Canada
J.C. Penney is reportedly considering its first foray into the Canadian market according to The Globe and Mail. Various commercial real estate companies with interests in some of Canada's biggest malls (Colliers International, Cadillac Fairview) are rumoured to have had discussions with the American department store giant about moving into some of their many well-known mall properties.
However, there have been no formal announcements or confirmations from J.C. Penney about a move north of the border just yet. It sounds like there are things that need fixing at home first. May 2012 saw their shares go into free-fall after first quarter losses. The stock declined nearly 20%, which is the biggest decline for the company in the last four decades, counting the 1987 stock market crash. J.C. Penney blames the first quarter fall that ignited the 20% drop in sales and share prices on a poor reception to their announcement that they will be abandoning their numerous and frequent sales, promotions and coupons each year for a steady diet of low prices.
This decision, which critics call "incalculable damage" was made by J.C. Penney's new CEO Ron Johnson, a former Apple executive who expanded the dimensions of the Apple Store and created the Genius Bar. He also used to work at Target along with new J.C. Penney President Michael Francis who,as Target's Chief Marketing Officer, orchestrated Target's Canadian expansion.
Having Francis on board may mean good news for Canadians, as he can take his expansion playbook to J.C. Penney, but first it looks like the company will need to stop the bleeding stateside. If J.C. Penney does come to Canada in the very near future, Canadian customers may enjoy their plans for a store within a store that's all Martha Stewart Living products, thanks to their 16.6% stake in Martha Stewart Omnimedia Inc. Johnson plans 80 to 100 stores within stores are part of his controversial corporate overhaul plans. Hey, it worked for Target didn't it?