Business Insider has this story about changes at JCPenney Plans To Replace Cash Registers With Coffee And Juice Bars
JCPenney can offer shoppers something no online retailer can: food and drinks to enjoy while they spend money.
CEO Ron Johnson said the retailer was planning on replacing traditional cash registers with coffee and juice bars, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Bloomberg News. A prototype he showed reporters in August included a Caribou coffee stand. ...
... Johnson has also announced plans to give associates iPads and eliminate most cash registers. ...
Johnson is the guy who introduced selling upscale products at Target and created the Apple birck and mortar model. He recently did away with most of JC Penny's model of using sales and coupons to bring people into the store and sales have suffered as a result. But this was only the first step in a move to remake the JCPenny shopping experience ... and I would say "experience" is the operative word.
Eight years ago, Joseph Pine did a TED Talk What consumers want. He explains that through most of human history we had a commodity economy. We grew things or extracted things from the ground. Then we figured out how to form commodities into goods. We became an industrial economy. But eventually goods became so standardized that they became commodities and everything was about lowest price. Then came customization of goods, which be definition entailed offering service that would distinguish goods. Enter the service economy. But now, due to the internet revolution, services are almost a commodity. What many people are now looking for is an experience from their economic exchanges. Studies already show that many people scope out products on the internet but still go to a brick and mortar store for the shopping experience.
It sounds like Johnson is in accord with Pine's perspective. Johnson's critics are legion right now. It will be interesting to see if he pulls this off.