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JC Penney has more than 150,000 associates in stores throughout the United States. An associate is a retail employee, located in mall and freestanding stores, that serves and satisfies JC Penney customers through superior customer service. Associates are both part-time and full-time employees and may come to the store with varying career goals. A retired person seeking a few hours a week to supplement income and a young professional interested in the retail industry are both examples of typical associates in-store.
Role and Responsibilities
An associate at JC Penney works well independently, with customers and with colleagues. They are trusted with cash, debit and credit cards and other approved methods of payment. At the end of a shift, they reconcile their cash and must have a strong attention to detail during the money management process. Associates typically are trained for a particular department, such as home decor or women's wear, but may rotate from department to department based on need; they will also complete additional training for other departments.
JC Penney associates are typically paid a per-hourly rate but they may also receive commission. According to their website, "Full-time JC Penney associates are invited to participate in our comprehensive benefits program which provides health care benefits such as medical, dental and vision, a 401k saving plan, paid-time off days, paid holidays and more. JC Penney is one of the few retailers to offer benefits to its part-time associates. Part-time associates are defined as less than 35 hours per week are offered such things as critical illness and life insurance. The part-time employee benefits offering makes the store an attractive employer for stay-at-home moms and those requiring benefits but flexibility.
Associates advance in management positions within the retail establishment and may also move into corporate positions in merchandising, marketing, finance and administration. Having an undergraduate degree in business management or in a field related to the position is always an asset; acquiring knowledge of the company on the retail floor is critical to advancing within the organization. JC Penney offers many opportunities for personal and professional advancement with clear, showcased paths to success.
JC Penney retail staff have a store discount. Staff check out products before they hit the floor, and work in a corporate culture focused on engagement and retention.
Karenna Cochrane has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in home-and-garden topics such as interior design and home improvement. She has published work online and in print for national organizations.