JCPenney CEO: As inflation bites, working people find it difficult

Marc Rosen, CEO of JCPenney, observes numerous indications that working-class families are having difficulties.

Customers are using credit cards more frequently, falling behind on payments, and favoring affordable. Private label brands like Liz Claiborne over more expensive national ones.


The working families in America are our clients. In a recent interview. Rosen stated that “they’re the teachers instructing our children in classrooms. The builders constructing our homes, and the medical professionals caring for us. And that consumer is dealing with a more challenging economic climate.

The CEO of JCPenney emphasized the impact that inflation has had on family finances, adding that the average household now pays nearly $700 more per month for the same goods and services compared to two years prior.

For a family like that, “that’s tough because it means they’re making tradeoffs in everything they can do,” said Rosen.

The “very strong” expansion of the department store’s private brands, which are less expensive than national names, is cited by Rosen as proof of this financial strain. He cited robust private brand sales for clothing as well as for kitchenware and small equipment like toasters and blenders.

A similar statement made by Rosen, who said that while JCPenney continues to offer a “strong” selection of company brand credit cards to its consumers, credit utilization has climbed and the frequency of delinquencies has return to its pre-Covid-19 levels.

That is consistent with what other merchants have stated. The New York Federal Reserve also discovered that the rate of new credit card delinquencies has increased above mid-2019 levels, as did rival Macy’s, which recently raised the alarm about rising credit card delinquencies.

The JCPenney statements highlight the perplexing status of the US economy. Some consumers are suffering, despite the fact that the likelihood of a recession has decreased and the labor market is still strong.

Read More: Why are American families moving to Europe?

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