We shopped at Macy's and JCPenney to see which department store is better - and the winner was overwhelmingly clear

Business Insider | Jun 25, 2019, 02.26AM IST

macys storefront

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

  • Department stores have been among the hardest hit in the ongoing retail apocalypse, as retailers continue to struggle against falling sales and declining foot traffic.
  • While both Macy's and JCPenney have been quietly shuttering stores in a move toward reconsolidation, Macy's is showing that its renovation efforts and investment in experiential retail is starting to pay off.
  • We visited Macy's and JCPenney stores in New York City and saw that while Macy's is finding a way to reinvent its brick-and-mortar strategy, JCPenney is failing to innovate.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Though Macy's and JCPenney have both been retail stalwarts for more than a century each, their longevity hasn't made them impervious to the decline of brick-and-mortar department stores.

However, as department stores across the industry continue to face the chopping block, Macy's efforts to reinvent its physical stores is starting to translate to sales while its peers continue to slip into ruin. The department store reported stronger than expected sales for the first quarter of 2019, with same-store sales increasing by 0.7%, thanks to in-store renovations, improved e-commerce, and experimenting with pop-up concepts.

Read more:We visited Macy's Color Story pop-up and saw why it's an Instagram dream

Meanwhile, JCPenney can't seem to find its footing amid a constantly fluctuating leadership team and its struggle to align with a cohesive brand identity. In the first quarter of 2019, JCPenney reported that same-store sales decreased by 5.5% and that it planned to shutter an additional 27 stores before the end of the year.

We visited Macy's and JCPenney stores located near each other in midtown Manhattan and saw that while Macy's is finding a way to breathe new life into the brand, JCPenney is teetering on the brink of collapse.

Add Comment
Keep scrolling for next story

Target's 2-hour register outage could cost the company $50 million

Loading next story
Copyright © 2015 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
All rights reserved.