JCPenney Has Lots Of Data On Shoppers, Isn’t Using It For Anything

The new CEO of JCPenney, a chain of department stores that had a brief and disastrous attempt at becoming more hip and upscale, says that the company is done “patching holes” in its business, and that it’s time to start building itself up for the future. That includes something that retailers now generally take for granted: using its customer data to sell more stuff to the customers that it has.

The number of shoppers is back up where it was before the reign of CEO Ron Johnson, but total sales aren’t. That means customers are at least walking in the door or clicking on the website and making purchases, but they aren’t spending as much on average as they used to. New CEO Marvin Ellison pointed out at a conference this week that the company has data on tens of millions of shoppers, but doesn’t really do anything with it.

Possible ideas for all of that data include making forecasts based on past sales figures, analyzing each customer’s purchases to send them special offers and coupons, and to figure out what’s selling best by region and by store.

J.C. Penney tapping tech to claw back billions in lost sales [Fortune]