JCPenney Reinstates Dress Code for Associates

JCPenneyPlano, TX—Myron “Mike” Ullman, the interim chief executive who returned to steer JCPenney after the disastrous tenure of Ron Johnson, continues to reverse many of the mandates Johnson instituted.

The latest, according to Bloomberg News, is reversing the relaxed dress code Johnson implemented, namely that employees, including sales associates, could wear just about anything they want.

The problem is, they look so much like the customers, that the customers are having trouble finding them in the stores. And since the traditional register areas were dismantled in favor of hand-held devices to ring up purchases, the confusion is even greater.

Starting in July as back to school season kicks off,  JCPenney associates will be wearing red branded lanyards, Ullman said. The company also is considering changing the relaxed dress code.

“We want to make sure there is no doubt who works for us,” Ullman, said.

Ullman said that customers felt they were being alienated even though there actually were more places to complete transactions. Now Ullman plans to roll out 2,800 wheeled charts in about 700 of JCPenney’s largest stores where they can be wheeled up to the busiest departments, where their cash registers can be used to checked out customers, fold their purchases and package them.

To make it easier to find those associates with hand-held devices, the 20 or so employees with them will now wear a grey holster to help identify them in store.

And new signs will be visible to explain about how to check out.

Ullman said most of the changes will be instituted in time for back-to-school when children’s apparel accounts for 12% of total sales.




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