- J.C. Penney is opening a new office in Bangalore, India as it attempts to revamp IT and e-commerce efforts that fell behind the times in recent years.
- As a result, some IT jobs at J.C. Penney's Plano, TX headquarters that have been filled by contract employees likely will be cut and offshored to the Bangalore site, though the retailer said it's adding full-time jobs in both Plano and India.
- J.C. Penney said it will hire 450 people in India by the end of this year, and may eventually grow that office to include 1,000 employees.
Former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson had some interesting ideas about how to reinvigorate the retailer's brick-and-mortar stores—ideas that may one day prove vital to the retail industry's omnichannel visions. However, his reign also pushed the e-commerce part of the omnichannel model onto the back burner, and now J.C. Penney is paying for it.
One of the biggest sins of the e-commerce era is to lag behind. E-commerce technology relating to marketing, customer service, logistics and other areas simply is evolving too fast. Not keeping up is similar to locating a physical retail store in the middle of a swamp: No one will show up.
Once you've fallen behind, can you catch up to the rest of the e-commerce herd? J.C. Penney is going to try, and part of that effort necessarily needs to involve hiring more IT people in a place where skilled and affordable IT folks are abundant.
We won't know for a while if this comeback effort will translate into e-commerce success. For J.C. Penney's sake, hopefully it has a clear plan how it will manage and complete major IT projects with its human resources divided in two different camps half a world apart.