Monday, August 17, 2009


Work people have asked me to respond to some of the comments on Racked, etc., regarding CintraPenneygate. I'm kind of loath to engage in this discussion on comments for several reasons: 1) my bias is obvious as I work for a non-profit that manages the 34th Street district and my primary job with the blog is to promote retail on 34th Street; 2) I'm easily riled whilst engaged in pissing matches (but especially now while pregnant and hot); and 3) I tried last Friday to comment on Racked and came up with nada.

Now the dust has settled so I'll share a few afterthoughts here in a more expansive forum. Let's bullet it so I also fulfill popular posting standards:
  • I like Cintra Wilson. I'm not a raving, OMG she's-that-tall-skinny-drummer-for-the-Police fan, but I find her writing entertaining and well-crafted. She also seems acerbic and witty a la Dorothy Parker;

  • Ms. Parker created lots of controversy and cultivated many enemies along the way. The JCPenney article was, in my opinion, particularly Parker-esque;

  • Ms. Wilson has bashed a lot of little boutiques, too. She can JCPenney-bash and plus-size-mannequin-bash all day long if she wants. It's her job. And this all has also given JCPenney (and Ms. Wilson's blog) some great exposure;
  • I'm from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Whenever people in New York City say things like "dowdy Middle America" I attribute it to "typical New York City narrow-minded elitism" and roll my eyes. It's what we do, we're all superior.
  • There are all kinds of stores out there for all kinds of people. The 34th Street Partnership is very happy to have JCPenney in the 34th Street district, which we knew would be an excellent addition to Manhattan Mall and a big draw for our shoppers. Seriously, the Mall has been renovated, looks 1,000 times better with JCPenney, and no, I don't miss the food court (my apologies to Arby's fans). I had some questionable chicken down there.
Now I could go on about how much I've enjoyed covering JCPenney so far, but I'm still on my skinny, maternity jean high. I must also call out, however, the customer service (very friendly staff), the well-organized store, the quality for the price point (my boss swears by their men's socks), and the home department. I spotted an exact replica of my paisley Ralph Lauren winter comforter in the American Living bedding section, and it made me smile that it was under $100 and not over $500. This, of course, appeals to my thrifty, Middle American farmer roots (insert eye roll here).


kicksfetish said...

i loved you before... but i love you and your blog ten thousand times more for this. Thumbs up for your honest and candid opinion. I will be sharing this on my facebook.

WendyB said...

Good post!

I'm most appalled by the comments people have left about that story. Why, when you're upset about something, leave a comment that is ten times more offensive than the original review? The interwebs bring out the beast in people. >:-(

Anonymous said...

I love your take on this, lady. Fighting mean with mean is ineffective and wastes energy.

And I, too, attributed her snippy Middle America comment to "typical New York City narrow-minded elitism." Hah!

ambika said...

What a wonderful, wise response. I dig Cintra too but your points are well made.

(I had no idea about this Penney's article and probably wouldn't have thought twice about it, much to my shame!)

Tricia said...

Thanks, kicksfetish, sometimes I'm not 100% on how to answer these things.
WendyB - Exactly! People get soooo nasty.
Sal - You know I was thinking about the Minnesota blogger, too :)
Ambika - Thanks, and see, more press for Penney's!

39th and Broadway said...

Love this. I actually am just finishing up a post about this same thing. Funny enough I included a link to your blog and referenced your more positives reviews of the JCP.

As a fellow former midwesterner I feel both defensive of the frumpy stereotype and glad as hell I moved away!