J.C. Penney to Open on Thanksgiving

Inside A JC Penney Co. Store Ahead of Earnings Results
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK -- J.C. Penney is opening its doors on Thanksgiving evening to kick off the holiday shopping season, as the beleaguered retailer hopes to get back in the game for the crucial selling period.

The Plano, Texas-based chain will be opening most of its 1,100 stores at 8 p.m., the same as rival Macy's (M). The Thanksgiving evening opening is much earlier than last year, when Penney didn't open until 6 a.m. Friday. That made the retailer one of the laggards for the unofficial kickoff to the season.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is also bringing back a tradition it ditched last year: it will give away nearly 2 million holiday snow globes starting at 4 a.m. on the Friday after the turkey feast.

"Obviously, we were one of the last to open [last year]," said Tony Bartlett, Penney's executive vice president of stores. But he noted this year, "We're all in."

He promised that Penney's deals will be at least as good as two years ago and will be much better than last year, when Penney gave away buttons tied to a prize giveaway.

Penney is also hiring at least 35,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, nearly 50 percent more than a year ago.

The holiday plan is yet another example of how Penney is unraveling the strategies of its former CEO Ron Johnson, who was ousted in April after 17 months on the job amid a botched up plan to reinvent the retailer.
Johnson was fired two months after the company announced horrific fourth-quarter results that covered the holiday shopping season. That ended a fiscal year, which finished Feb. 2, in which the Penney amassed almost a billion dollars in losses and a 25 percent drop in sales.

Penney brought back Johnson's predecessor, Mike Ullman, as CEO. He is restoring frequent sales and basic merchandise that were eliminated by Johnson who was aiming to attract a more affluent, younger shopper.

Shares were down 12 cents to close at $7.35 Thursday and have lost 63 percent of their value since the beginning of the year. The stock has lost 83 percent of its value since early February of last year.

Stores are ushering the holiday season earlier every year, creeping into Thanksgiving. Macy's scheduled 8 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving compares with its midnight Friday opening in 2012.

Last year, Target (TGT) opened its doors at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than the previous year. Walmart Stores (WMT), the world's largest retailer, began the early bird specials at 8 p.m on the holiday, two hours earlier than in 2011. A growing number of mall-based clothing stores such as Gap (GPS) also have opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day.

Target, Walmart and Gap haven't yet announced their plans for the Thanksgiving weekend.

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Now I really won't shop there. Corporate greed has gone too far. Thanksgiving is an AMERICAN holiday. How un-patriotic of these retailers. It's like dominoes, one opens, the rest follow suit. Someone take a stand and say NO!! the holiday should be spent with families.
When you die you're not judged by how much money you have. Enough is too much!

November 06 2013 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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October 22 2013 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adele's comment

Wrong article. Drag your soapbox somewhere else.

November 06 2013 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Walmart opens at 6pm on Thanksgiving.

October 18 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Won\'t matter at all, in fact, all retail will hurt badly for many reasons. Obamacare costs alone will take whatever extra $$ working people have left and give that to those who refuse to work....

JCP stock descimated and now fallign to $6.00PPS shortly and the recent share dillution did not help Investors, only insiders as usual...

I have retired customers who HAVE to work at Wal-Mart for extra living monies and they are getting so dammn angry having to check out so many EBT users running up $500.00 and more regular purchases of food times they/we cannot afford to buy....

October 18 2013 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to investrman's comment

I think JCPenney and the rest of the VP'S forget that 8pm is still holiday pay at time and ahalf ....not all the people will be shopping that time of the day that is when all families are just winding down ??????....JCP has to get every penney they can to make it work.......it really is ashame to see JCP like this........part of Ron Johnson night-mare...he should be sued........L

October 18 2013 at 10:40 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply