Experts Debate Whether J.C. Penney, Sears Will Survive

We are on the brink of a major change in many industries. In retail specifically, experts are debating whether some big brands will survive. For those small business owners and entrepreneurs who have set their sights on this market or serve customers within it, the outcome will be critical. Other entrepreneurs can learn the importance of adapting to change, so essential to businesses regardless of their size.


The last retailer standing. J.C. Penney and Sears are among the big brands struggling in a tough and changing economy, and some say the moment of truth has come for both. Other giants that continue to struggle despite the overall success of many retailers during the all important Christmas season include Target, Kohl’s, and domestic Gap. Forbes

Sweet smell of success. Still, J.C. Penney and Sears remain at the center of a major revolution in their industry, led earlier by innovative brands like J. Crew, to focus on uniqueness and community over simple price cutting. Whether these companies win or loose their fight, the struggle is also of interest to entrepreneurs facing their own pressures to adapt in the marketplace. Bloomberg

Problems with Profitability

Mind over market. Clients often give Matthew Needham a list of excuses why they can’t grow their businesses, mentioning that there aren’t enough customers or that the economy is in bad shape. Turns out, though, that the real problem has to do with state of mind. Just as large brands are actively working to target new customers and transform their markets, smaller businesses must adjust their mindsets for success. The Big Red Tomato Company

Shopping cart syndrome. Some businesses may face an even more infuriating problem when it comes to improving their revenue and expanding their customer base, especially online. A recent study suggests that problems online buyers experience with e-commerce sites may account for many lost sales. These include trouble using captcha functions, problems with promo codes and gift card redemption, and more. There are sales you, too, could be missing if your Website isn’t what it should be. Grow Smart Biz

Revenue Renaissance

A brand with a plan. Other companies may have a much more basic problem. Markets change from year to year, and if you aren’t updating your business plan on at least an annual basis, your business could suffer the consequences. Fortunately, the process of keeping your business plan up to date is a simple one. Summer Alexander suggests these easy steps to get started. Summer Alexander Research

Missing the target. Sometimes a failure to generate sales has nothing to do with your products, services, or business model—it’s your marketing that fails you, says B2B marketing blogger Susan Fantle. A few simple problems can scuttle your marketing efforts, costing you sales. Here, Fantle talks about how to avoid those problems and how to develop a strategy that will lead to success. B2B Marketing Smarts

Building blocks. More than specifics like marketing strategy, target audience, or products and services, it may turn out that your company’s overall characteristics will determine whether your businesses grows, stagnates, or withers away and dies. Blogger Kelvin Cech believes there are four basic building blocks upon which growing businesses are built. See whether you have these essential components in your business. Function Writing Group

3 Reactions
  1. I wrote an article which more carefully goes over J.C. Penney and its prospects.

  2. Great roundup. It would be a shame to see these big brands crumble. It seems no one is exempt from the struggle. Time will tell.

  3. I think Bestbuy could go before these two.

    Did you see this at Target:
    Price Match Guarantee
    If you buy a qualifying item at a Target store then find the identical item for less in the following week’s Target weekly ad or within seven days at,,,,, or in a competitor’s local printed ad, we’ll match the price.

    Now that’s a serious contender.

    If you are a big box you can’t pretend the Internet isn’t happening in a major way.