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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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JC Penney

JCPenney store in the Columbia Mall, Columbia, MD. (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj)

If you are living in America or visited US, I am sure you would have shopped at JCPenney at some time or other. J. C. Penney Company, Inc., commonly known as JCPenney is a chain of American mid-range department stores based in Plano, Texas.

James Cash Penney circa 1902 Penney age 27.

On April 14, 1902, when he was 27 years old,  James Cash Penney  began his career in retail management when he opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, in partnership with Guy Johnson and Thomas Callahan. He named it “The Golden Rule.”  In fact, when Penney opened his first several stores they were called that. Two more stores were created with his participation.

In 1907, when Johnson and Callahan dissolved their partnership, Penney purchased full interest in all three locations.

By following rigid economies and selling for cash, Penney made substantial profits and eventually established a chain of such stores.

By 1912, Penney had 34 Golden Rule stores in the Rocky Mountain States.

In 1913, by consolidating all the stores the company got incorporated under the new name, J. C. Penney Company, with William Henry McManus as a co-founder.

From 1915 to 1917 the company grew from 83 stores to 175.

In 1924, the company opened its 500th store in Hamilton, Missouri, James Cash Penney’s hometown.

In 1928, when the 1,000th store opened, gross business had reached $190,000,000.

J.C. Penney Co. poster of 1932. This poster must have been printed in 1932 since the Pierce County was born on December 22, 1852. There seems to be a glaring spelling mistake in the name of the company.

The chain expanded rapidly as stores mangerswere 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.

Past logos of JCPenney

JCPenney Logo – 1963-1971

JCPenney logo – 1970s-1980s retired in 2011

JCPenney logo that was used in 2011

JCPenney logo – 2012

The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, an ethical code, or morality taught by all religions of the world that can essentially be told in the words of Jesus:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

Mr. Penney actually lived by this Golden Rule. He disliked the word “employee.” So, he called those who worked for him, “Associates”. He treated them just as well as he would like to be treated, too – with love, respect, kindness, understanding and encouragement. And it was the main reason his general store of 1902 grew into a multi-billion dollar business.

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