The Future of JCPenney: An investment in IT?

There’s no question that an investment in IT can pay all sorts of dividends for JCPenney as well as other retailers. To name just a few:

1. Continued improvements in supply-chain and store payroll productivity, driven by enhanced systems;

2. A stronger focus on CRM than the brick-and-mortar competition, learning from masters of data mining like Amazon;

3. Development of kiosks and other interactive technology appealing to younger consumers with a high “tech-savvy” comfort level at retailers like Apple and Best Buy.

But a note of caution to JCPenney: IT may lead to a slicker, more modern and more productive operation but the true “front door” to the business should continue to be its merchandising content, store experience and brand positioning.

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