JCPenney is working on ways to get its store managers more focused on the selling floor and interacting with both customers and associates. RetailWire panelists recently commented on this change of direction:
Managers working in retail stores are subjected to the same flood of e-mail (often unnecessary) as employees in any other workplace. The difference is the need to “walk the floor” and do the customer-focused duties that involves, from training associates to checking merchandise presentation and replenishment. “Inspect what you expect” was and continues to be a good philosophy for retail management.
JCP could do itself a big favor, however, by developing more effective systems and store layouts to get customers through the checkout lines. Every Penney store that I shop regularly has an inefficient process (especially compared to Kohl’s) even on days when the stores don’t seem heavily trafficked. This needs to find a top-down solution, rather than depending on the presence of a manager on the sales floor to fix it.