JCPenney's embrace of the gay community
is the reason for its sales woes, Al Lewis of Down Jones Newswires
New CEO Ron Johnson is in the middle of
a makeover for JCPenney which includes new brands and a pricing model
which forgoes coupons and sales for everyday low prices.
First quarter sales plummeted 20
percent and most business analysts pointed to the chain's new pricing
structure as the culprit.
Lewis, however, suggested that
Johnson's embrace of the gay community is alienating JCPenney
“Mr. Johnson is alienating Penney's
traditional customers in a bid to attract new customers from higher
socio-economic segments that now shop Macy's, Nordstrom and Target,”
wrote Lewis, whose column appeared in The
Wall Street Journal.
Lewis then opined that One Million
Moms, the Christian conservative group which has vociferously
objected to JCPenney's
use of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson because she is gay,
might have a point. One Million Moms also criticized JCPenney for
two-dad family in a Father's Day ad.
It is “fair to say this organization,
though often branded as antigay, is expressing a sentiment among the
middlebrow demographic that JCPenney serves.”
“If you support the gay community,
please shop JCPenney,” he added. “Diversity, inclusion,
acceptance for all – these are laudable values. The problem is,
well, I have never actually met an openly gay person who openly shops