Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Early history of J.C Penney

J.C. Penney & Co. was founded in 1902 by James Cash Penney and William Henry McManus. Penny moved to Kemmerer in 1902 from Evanston to open dry goods store in the booming mining town.

He was born on a farm in Caldwell County near Hamilton in Missouri. At the age of 8, the younger Penney ran errands for a nickel. The $2.50 that he saved was invested in pigs. On complaints of neighbors he sold put but made $60. He worked for eight years in a Missouri dry goods store with salary at a $2.27 a month and later increase to $300 a year before moving to Denver, Colorado in 1897.

The original name for the store that started J.C. Penney in the dry goods business was The Golden Rule. Golden Rule operated 18 stores owned by Thomas M Callahan. On 14 April 1902 Penney became a partner in new Golden Rule store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. He borrowed $1 500 from a bank and used $500 of his own money for initial investment.

By 1912 there were 34 Golden Rule stores, but the following year it was changed to JC Penney when Penney accepted a majority ownership of the chain, William McManus still being a partner.

In two year alone from 1915 to 1917 the company grew from 83 stores to 175. By 1929 its sales had reached $210 million. The chain expand rapidly as stores mangers were allowed to open new stores, keeping one quarter of the profits, as soon as they were successful.

This simple concept led the store massive expansion and making it the second-biggest retailer in the country by 1970.

By the 1930 the company had expanded to 1 250 stores located mostly in towns and cities serving a wide clientele.

During the postwar economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s, as many Americans move to suburbs, so did JC Penney, taken advantage of the retail space offered by the boom in shopping malls by becoming the anchor store in shopping stores across the country.
Early history of J.C Penny
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