Actually: JCPenney or J.C. Penney

JCPenney (also known as JCP and Penney’s for short) is a chain of American mid-range department stores.

I was first made aware of this Mandela Effect from a post on the Subreddit by KitKhat. Upon further research it looks like it is quite a popular misspelling and general misconception. Googling JCPenny -JCPenney gives thousands of results spanning across news articles, review sites, online discussions and more. Calling it a Mandela Effect might be a stretch as I dived deeper into why this one is so common and why it got a lot of support on the Subreddit.

Unaltered JCPenney Logo

My Experience

On first glance, I too felt like this was a weird one. The logo, or even the spelling of JCPenney felt weird to me. I could reconcile that Penney wasn’t spelt in the normal way, but for some reason my memory still wanted to side with JCPenny. After working with the logo itself for this article, JCPenny was now feeling more weird to me for some reason. My mind keeps swapping back and forth on what looks the most “correct”.

Possible Explanations

I think this one is a really easy candidate for just being a misspelling and not a full Mandela Effect as some claim. People are used to reading and spelling “Penny”. It’s a name, and it’s also a coin, it’s our money that we use every day. “Penny” is ubiquitous to our everyday life. Both of those associations are there for JCPenney. It’s a name, so it must be Penny, or it’s a store, dealing with money, it must be a reference to the penny. Our brain wants to associate it with things we already know, with spellings we already know.

I even found a “JC Penny” misspelling by somebody working at JCPenney.

JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007
JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007

Additional Sources

JCPenney in the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana in June 2007 photo

38 thoughts on “JCPenny

  1. I think that what is happening is that many people have an assumed spelling of a proper name that is in their mind and never really look at the word itself. No Mandela effect but just a case of not paying attention to the logo of the business which never did change. I know in my case for years I assumed that Rod Sterling created the Twilight Zone. I have had a VHS tape collection of that series for 30 years and in only the last 6 years I noted the spelling had been Rod Serling all along, both in the VHS case flap and on screen credits. The same holds true for Barbra Streisand. Many people claim that her name was Barbara but I feel that this was a assumed spelling in their mind. If anyone has a ticket stub from a concert of hers or a record label or a news story with the “Barbara” spelling then they should show that. There has always been two spellings for this common name.

    • Exactly,
      Most Mandela Effects seem to be people misspelling something and assuming that the more common way of spelling something has to be the name. Or they assume there is a period behind an initial and vice-versa.

      One of the Mandela Effects that bugs me is the James Bond Moonraker one with the girl that falls in love with Jaws. Since he has metal teeth and there is a scene near the end of the film where they smile at each other many including myself could swear that the character wore braces. Either during the entire movie or got them at the end when they show her teeth shinning. She never had braces?

    • Spelling mistakes are fine, but pronunciation is different. Penny is different from Penney. Sterling is different for Serling and so on.

  2. whats wrong with you braindead little nazi sheep , the earth isn’t round to denying whats in plain view today , you never change

    • What’s “in plain view” is how the flags of a tall-masted ship appear first on the horizon and the masts slowly rising, taller and taller, ’till the deck is visible and if my arms were long enough, I could reach out and grab it and put it in my pocket… oh, how I miss the world before M.E.

      • What’s actually in plain view, and you can find any number of these on YouTube, is that a camera with a decent zoom will reveal the entire ship well after, to the naked eye, most of the ship has disappeared below the horizon.

        Not a Flat Earther, but a scientist who gathers facts, and doesn’t dismiss evidence just because it contradicts a theory I like.

        • You claim to be a scientist who spouts a NON scientific reason about zooming in on a ship….Light bends by the way, did you know that mr. scientist?

    • If you’re going to spout conspiracy nonsense, at least spell check your drivel.

      No one has a clue what you’re implying. Is everyone who disagrees with you a nazi? Fuckin tinfoils…

  3. I agree with Larry Jamison’s explanation, and here’s why —

    Not long ago, an acquaintance who believes that “J. C. Penney” was once “J. C. Penny” told me that he could finally prove it. He had just bought from eBay, as I recall) a 1970s catalog from the store, whose cover (he said) spelled it “J. C. Penny” (which was why he’d bought it: as proof) — and he offered to show it to me, so that I could see for myself that it had still been “Penny” when he was a kid back then. I accepted — he showed me the cover, while saying “See? At that time it was still ‘P, E, N, N, Y’ — just like the coin! It’s right here!” Yet the catalog clearly had “Penney” where he was directing me to see “Penney,” so I called his attention to the fact. Since he had misremembered/misprocessed “Penney” as “Penny” while actually LOOKING at the catalog (first on eBay while getting ready to buy it, then again while pulling it out to show to me), most likely he ALSO had misremembered/misprocessed his 1970s childhood memories of the same store when discussing its name 40 years later. (If you can misremember/misprocess something you are recalling having seen one minute ago or three days ago, you can mismisremember/misprocess something you are recalling having seen four decades ago.)

  4. The first credit card that I owned was from JCPenny and I spent a fair amount of time shopping there. Loved the store, the staff, the clothes, etc. Loved it all! Years after opening my account, shopping there frequently, faithfully checking and paying my billing statement each month, logging onto their website, etc., I opened up a small event business, later expanding and moving into the location of the old “JCPenny” building nearby. I never saw the name, as the sign had long since been removed, but I was going through my mom’s old things one night and happened upon a flier that had a JCPenney advertisement in it. It caught my attention because it was very old and I thought it was neat that we had recently started renting that space, but upon closer inspection, I noted the spelling of the name… With an extra “e” in it. What startled my brain into noticing this new (to me anyway) change was the font that was used. It was outdated and old-fashioned, nothing like the brand logo that I was so used to. This was all it took for me to realize that my brain had been assuming the traditional spelling for years in a place that I frequented. I wonder if this may be the case with some other instances (i.e., Berenstain Bears looks quite different in type, but normal in the traditional scripted title).

  5. LOL, I read J.C. Penny and J.C. Penney exactly the same. I had almost finished reading this latest post before I realized there was an extra “e” in one. That’s more proof, some people simple don’t pay enough attention to the details.

  6. We are taught in speed reading for those who read a lot. That your brain can read language a lot faster then when you don’t try to read each word. Your brain takes a short cut over useless word and you are reading not sentences but paragraphs. I have done this with thousands of books; just to get to the meat of what is being written. I have noticed that sometimes I have misunderstood the meaning of what has been said because I trained my brain to read so quickly. I think that even though most of the people probably have not been taught to speed read, the brain is lazy at times and on its own skips or misreads “words” in the sentence.

  7. I found a 1980s magazine in an antique store in Glaucester that has an old JCPenney ad in it. It has always been spelled with two ‘e’s.

    • How do you know that? If the Mandela Effect is true, that’s the point, everything gets changed, including past references. I know there’s supposedly residual effects that do not get changed but for the most part, everything is changed from past to present.

  8. No, the store chain was founded by a man whose initials and last name actually WERE “J. C. Penney” — he named it after himself, and the Penney family (his descendants) continued to run it till the mid-1990s. They are still around, and still pretty rich — and I don’t think you could get them to believe that their own name has changed by adding an “e” while they weren’t looking.

  9. Y’all. Go watch the first back to the future movie. It’s literally in the background of the scene where Marty enitialy goes back to the future, when their in the mall parking lot.

  10. I trained as a manager at JCPenny’s in 1984. Part of our training was to watch a video about James Cash Penny, the owner who started the well known department store. I know for a fact it was Penny not Penney. It was a big deal back then to make sure any time you had to hand write it, or type it into the computer while communicating with the buyers, that you spelled it correctly. It was penny like the coin. The District managers and buyers were very adement that it always be spelled correctly. I also had a bron credit card and it was spelled Penny.
    I know for a fact it was penny.

  11. Who cares if it was spelled this way or that and if it changed or if we Miss remember it. The fact remains that memory is notoriously bad and is much less reliable than most people want to admit.
    Don’t be alarmed if you misremember something. Most things are not worth remembering. And don’t be stubborn about claiming your memories are more correct than someone else’s memories.

    • Terese, thank you. It is truly astounding that so many people continue to insist that their memories are more reliable than fact. Then again, history shows us that human beings are a narcissistic bunch.

      Mandela Effect believers:
      1. STEM is not just something in a bag of weed.
      2. Reading is not just a city in Pennsylvania.

  12. I suggest you change the picture on top of this article.

    For the same reson that a teacher is supposed not to repeat a mistake one of the pupils made but rather only state the correct answer. Using a picture with the wrong spelling which looks like it could be an official logo of the company could propagate the misconception even more.

    Also, are you planning on making more pages on other Mandela Effects?
    Your selection here is rather small. Do you maybe need help?

  13. I was born in 1959 and I always spelled my name with an “ey” like JCPenney… I even worked at the art department for JCPenney’s news paper ads… when I was 18… 40 years ago… the spelling has always been JCPenney… my speeling of my name is not Penny lile most.

  14. There exists plenty of physical evidence to back up people’s claims, from adverts, employment posts, and catalogs originating from JCPenny, many with the actual JCPenny logo still present.

    Over 200, JCPenny news clippings:

    The sheer volume of evidence though surely must raise some red flags, especially when all these sources are coming directly from JCPenny itself? A typo in the body copy of an article is one thing, but running a JCPenny logo in a full page ad starts bending the limits of rationalizing it away.

    They seem so nitpicky in their “Dear Customer” apologies, quibbling over a few cents, yet they never issue a retraction the next week apologizing for misrepresenting the name of the store.

    In some cases, the JCPenny ads run in the same newspaper weekly, you’d figure with the prominence of the logo, they’d catch the “typo” the first time.

  15. Something is more than afoot. Too many very unique items are being mis-remembered but way too many people. The skeptics will just yell faulty memory, buy their is always one problem with this argument, we always have some sort of historical reference to back up our claims, such an old logo, old newspaper clippings, a patent, some artwork. It would appear as though somehow residual is left, and usually it is old residual, and with logos I noticed you must go to the patents themselves, or the original logo art-work, and in those instances you may find that the very first original name correlates with your memory in some way. That is why this ME phenomenon is some damn intriguing. The naysayers keep on belittling, and telling us we are idiots, yet you have very credible sane people here. The other unique feature to all of this which has yet to be explained is why is it a recent thing? If all these ME’s are just memory which are they so specific to these items, and why is it recent? Why didn’t we have people arguing about JCpenney, and Sex in the City, and Interview with A/The Vampire say 20 years ago? All you naysayers, please explain that to me?

  16. I have a account. Looking back on vintage ads it’s clear that it was spelled multiple ways, JC Penny, JC Penny’s, J.C. Penney, JC Penney, etc. The West coast seemed to prefer Penny whereas the East coast favored Penney.

  17. I remember walking through the parking lot to go into this store and looking at the sign which was absolutely JCPenny. I mentioned as a joke to someone walking in the store with me that JCPenny could mean (Jesus Christ Penny) and there was other times previously where I had also thought to myself that JCPenny could be represent Jesus Christ Penny (as the copper coin called a penny) because it was spelled Penny. I know that I would not think to say this joke, as it would be too ridiculous to make this conclusion if it was spelled as Penney. I am certain it was JCPenny.

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