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09/16/2013 04:05 pm ET

The Surprising Connection Between JCPenney And Wal-Mart (PHOTOS)

JCPenney stores have gone through many changes over the years since it was introduced in 1902. We have to admit, before the recent collaborations with hot designers like Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart, Michael Graves and more for a chic new home collection, we hadn't really set foot in the department store since getting back-to-school photos taken as kids.

Unfortunately, according to reports, this area is underperforming and the chain continues to struggle under poor leadership. We wonder what James Cash Penney, Jr., American businessman and founder of the department store would have to say about this. Penney came from humble beginnings in Hamilton, Missouri and moved in his late twenties to Kemmerer, Wyoming, where he opened the first store. The young entrepreneur allegedly trained a young Sam Walton on how to wrap packages using the least amount of ribbon.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

The house he lived in with his family while in Wyoming is now a museum just down the street from the original store. Fun fact: James Cash Penney, Jr. was born 138 years ago today, on September 16, 1875.

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Photo credit: jimmywayne/Flickr

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