J. C. Penney
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J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
Type Public (NYSE: JCP)
Founded Kemmerer, Wyoming (1902)
Headquarters Plano, Texas, USA
James Cash Penney, William Henry
McManus, Co-Founder, Founder
Key people Myron E. Ullman, Chairman & CEO
William J. Alcorn, Executive Vice
Clothing, footwear, furniture, jewelry,
Products beauty products, electronics and
▲ US$18.781 billion
This article is about the department store chain. For its founder, see James Cash Penney. For the
Irish retail chain branded Penneys, see Primark.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE: JCP; most commonly known today by the name JCPenney
or simply Penneys) is a mid-range chain of American department stores based in Plano, Texas, a
suburb north of Dallas. The company operates 1,067 department stores in 49 of the 50 U.S. states
(except Hawaii) and Puerto Rico. J. C. Penney also operates catalog sales merchant offices
nationwide in many small markets, comprising a portion of the largest general merchandise catalog
business in the United States.
In addition to sale of conventional merchandise, JCPenney stores are often home to several leased
departments such as Optical, Portrait Studios, Jewelry & Watch repair, etc.
2 J.C. Penney Company
3 The Treasury, Catalog, and Full-line stores
10 See also
12 External links
J.C. Penney mother store
in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
J. C. Penney was founded by James Cash Penney and William Henry McManus. The original
name for the store that started Penney in the dry goods business was The Golden Rule Store,
owned by T. M. Callahan in Longmont, Colorado. It was later changed to J. C. Penney Company
when it was sold in 1912 by T. M. Callahan to his protege, J. C. Penney. The mother
store is located in Kemmerer, Wyoming, and still operates as of 2008, albeit with hours
significantly shorter than many of its other store locations.
 J.C. Penney Company
The exterior of a J.C. Penney department store at the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls,
In 1909, J. C. Penney relocated the headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah to be closer to banks and
railroads and again in 1914 to Buffalo to simplify the buying, financing, and transportation of
goods. By 1917, the company operated 175 stores in 22 states in the United States. JCPenney
acquired The Crescent Corset Company in 1920, the company's first wholly owned subsidiary. In
1922, the company's oldest active private brand, Big Mac work clothes, was launched. The
company opened its 500th store in 1924 in Hamilton, Missouri, James Cash Penney's hometown.
By the opening of 1,000th store in 1928, gross business had reached $190,000,000. In 1940, future
billionaire and founder of Wal*Mart, Sam Walton, began working at a JCPenney in Des Moines,
Iowa. Sam Walton later went on to found future retail giant Wal-Mart in 1962. By 1941, the
company operated 1,600 stores in all 48 states. In 1956, JCPenney started national advertising with
a series of advertisements in Life Magazine. JCPenney credit cards were issued and accepted at its
stores for the first time in 1959.
 The Treasury, Catalog, and Full-line stores
In 1962, JCPenney entered discount merchandising with the acquisition of General Merchandise
Company which gave them The Treasury. JCPenney closed the money losing discount stores in
1981. In 1963, J. C. Penney issued its first catalog. The company operated in-store catalog desks in
eight states. The catalogs were distributed by the Milwaukee Catalog distribution center. The
company also opened its first full-line department stores in 1963. Those stores were located in
Audubon, New Jersey and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Those two stores broaden the lines of
merchandise and services that a typical JCPenney carries to include appliances, sporting goods,
garden merchandise, restaurants, beauty salons, portrait studios, auto parts and auto centers. In
1966, J. C. Penney finished off the country's 50 states with the opening of its Honolulu, Hawaii
Penneys logo used in the 60s until 1971.
In 1969, the company acquired Thrift Drug, a chain of drugstores headquartered in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. It also acquired Supermarkets Interstate, an Omaha-based food retailer which
operated leased departments in JCPenney stores, The Treasury stores, and Thrift Drug stores. On
February 12, 1971, James Cash Penney died at the age of 95. In respect of James Cash's death the
company's stores were closed for half a day. Later in 1971, the stores became JCPenney, and
adopted their famous logo which has been used ever since (with only minor variants). In 1977,
JCPenney sold its stores in Italy to La Rinascente and also removed its Supermarkets Interstate
leased departments. In 1979, the Visa card began to be accepted in JCPenney stores. MasterCard
was accepted the following year.
In 1978, the J. C. Penney Historic District in Kemmerer, Wyoming, was designated a U.S.
National Historic Landmark.