By Bill Hare
The writer appears at JCPenney from its starting in 1902 as a dry items shop, via its upward thrust right into a profitable chain of full-service department shops rivaled purely via Sears, Roebuck, to its fall out of business within the Nineties as a result of company bungling
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Extra resources for Celebration of Fools: An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney
And I'll be promoting you to take his place. " A month later Rittenour departed, and there was a small cake and punch party in celebration of Batten's newest promotion. Maynard (age 45) and first man Herb Steinmetz (age 38) said nice things about Batten (age 25), and the other associates crowded around with their own congratulations (smiles on the faces of some older men were a bit forced). In short order, Batten had the floor running better than before, to the surprise of many. This did not, however, mean that his work was outside the manager's unique scrutiny.
Penney store he had seen. Substantial and very subtly stylish, it looked more like a city department store than the usually dowdy space one expected upon entering most Penney stores. One afternoon after concluding some routine business, Batten turned to leave in the manager's office. " He caught Batten by the balcony railing that over-looked the main floor. "Just thought of something. " Batten answered with a tentative smile. " Batten had quickly learned to take almost nothing for granted about Jack Maynard, so the twinkle in the manager's eye was both exciting and perplexing.
In Batten's view, this was probably why Maynard never advanced out of Lansing—not that he ever wanted to. He loved his store, he loved his position in the community, and he loved his lifestyle. Maynard had a beautiful summer home on Walloon Lake in the Petoskey resort region of northern Michigan. Every year just before Memorial Day he would leave for a summer of recreation and service as commodore of the Walloon Lake Yacht Club. He did not reappear in Lansing until after Labor Day. There was telephone contact, although it was rare.
Celebration of Fools: An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JCPenney by Bill Hare