J.C. Penny History
J. C. Penney’s is often viewed as the standard for retail merchandise stores in the United States. James Cash Penney opened his first store in 1902 under the name Golden Rule, reflecting the principle that guided his philosophy in business and customer service throughout his life.
James Penney, born in 1875, grew up on a farm in Hamilton, Missouri, the son of a Baptist minister. His father expected him to earn for himself at a young age; the boy James raised pigs to buy his clothes. After completing high school, James worked in a dry goods store in Hamilton, as well as continued working on the farm.
After two years, his health began to fail and he moved to Denver, Colorado, where he again found employment in a dry goods store and also opened a butcher shop. Because he refused to be bullied by local businessmen, his store failed. Penney then met Thomas Callahan and Guy Johnson, owners of the Golden Rule Mercantile Company, and was offered a position. The owners liked his honesty and integrity, and asked him to work in an existing store in Wyoming.
In 1902, he opened his first Golden Rule store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, becoming a partner to the company. He emphasized customer service, fair prices and quality; the store flourished. The Golden Rule chain was sold to Penney in 1907. He hired honest, hard-working men to learn the operation, then sent them to new locations to open new stores. These employees became associates, invested in the company. By 1912, Penney was operating thirty-four stores.
In 1913, Penney founded the J. C. Penney Company, with the motto “Honor, Confidence, Service and Cooperation.” First headquartered in Utah to be near transportation networks, Penney then shifted to New York in 1914. In 1992, headquarters were moved to Plano, Texas.
Penney introduced Big Mac work clothes in 1922, still popular today as a line of rugged work and outdoor clothing. Although Penney suffered financially during the Great Depression, the stores continued to operate and make money. By 1941, the company operated 1600 stores in 48 states, and by 1966, in all 50 states.
In 1963, J. C. Penney’s began mail-order service, second only to Sears and Roebuck. When Sears discontinued mail-order, Penney’s became the leading provider of mail-order service in the United States. In 1993, Internet sales began through the website www.jcp.com.
James Penney believed in giving back to the communities in which he invested, and established the J. C. Penney Foundation in 1954. Penney died in 1971, at the age of 95. Today, the original store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, is a part of the J. C. Penney National Historic District, designated a National Historic Landmark. Other National Register properties associated with J. C. Penney are in Tucson, Arizona; Shoshone, Idaho; St. Louis, Missouri, and Newberg, Oregon.
J. C. Penney features more than 50 different private brands of merchandise from lingerie to home furnishings. Brands include Ambriella lingerie, Linden Street home collection, Sephora cosmetics, and several clothing lines from juniors to business attire such as Fabulosity, St. John’s Bay, Stafford, Alfred Dunner, and Allen B.
Printable JC Penny Coupons and Discount Codes Online
Penney’s offers printable coupons for Internet and in-store purchases, found on its website www.jcpenney.com. These coupons are usually time-limited. Coupons may be issued in conjunction with special occasions such as Valentines Day, spring break, Easter, Christmas or even a customer’s birthday. In addition, Penney’s offers a Rewards program, accumulating points for each dollar spent either in-store, on-line or from mail-order. Customers are notified of Rewards offers by e-mail. The J. C. Penney credit card provides a Privilege program with discounts and special offers.