JCPenney stock rises by eight per cent after Nina Garcia gives seal of approval on Twitter

Coincidence or savvy social media endorsement JCPenney stock rises by eight per cent after fashion editor Nina Garcia gives seal of approval on Twitter

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UPDATED:

18:00 GMT, 26 July 2012

Influential: Nina Garcia, U.S. Marie Claire magazine's fashion director, has influenced JCPenney's share price

Influential: Nina Garcia, U.S. Marie Claire magazine's fashion director, has influenced JCPenney's share price

It seems that even the stock market is unable to resist the power of social media.

One of the fashion industry's top tastemakers may have helped JCPenney's stocks rise by sending out a single post on Twitter.

Nina Garcia, the fashion director at U.S. Marie Claire magazine, posted on Twitter yesterday: 'I'm @jcpenney's HQ. Thank you Ron Johson [sic] for the walk through of JCP's prototype. Get ready to shop! Its going to be a game changer!'

The retailer's share price rose dramatically, spiking at eight per cent, just minutes after the post was sent.

While the correlation may be pure coincidence, financial experts are shocked, admitting that the fashionista's public praise may indeed have influenced the stock market.

Paul Vigna, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, wrote yesterday: 'You might think Garcia is some powerful Wall Street analyst, right Or even some rain-making M&A banker Or some private equity specialist Uh, nope.'

Abram Brown, a writer at Forbes, also speculated about the tweet and its influence.

He wrote: 'Shares of J.C. Penney rose as much as eight per cent after Garcia sent the tweet. The stock settled up five per cent at $22.03 shortly after 3pm.'

The 47-year-old magazine editor is also a
judge on the reality show Project Runway and well known within the
fashion world.

She became a merchandising consultant for JCPenney just last month as the chain store continues its attempts to re-shape its entire make-up.

'This shows again how powerful social media is at changing the fortunes of companies – for better or worse'

But as Ron Johnson, who was announced CEO of the company in November 2011, rolls out new initiatives such as advertising campaigns featuring same-sex couples, share prices have failed to rise.

The company's sales fell 20per cent in the recent quarter.

Evidently, this could all change now that Ms Garcia's endorsement has been secured.

Joshua
March, CEO of Conversocial, told MailOnline: 'When someone tweets about
a company it has a big effect. Whether that's a big influencer like
this who rocks the share price, or even just a small customer who's
upset about the service they've received, in social media the world is
listening.'

Powerful: The fashionista's tweet sang her praise surrounding the store's current make-over phase, spearheaded by CEO Ron Johnson

Powerful words: The fashionista's tweet (above) sang her praise surrounding the store's current make-over phase, spearheaded by CEO Ron Johnson

All-stars: Ms Garcia (second from right) attended a Project Runway press event in New York on July 19. Heidi Klum (left), designer Michael Kors (second from left) and Tim Gunn (right) also attended

Stars: Ms Garcia (second right) attended a Project Runway event in New York on July 19 with Heidi Klum (left), Michael Kors (second left) and Tim Gunn (right)

He added: 'This shows again how powerful social media is at changing the fortunes of companies – for better or worse.'

New York magazine reported back in January that many celebrities are being paid to send out tweets to their followers that endorse several major companies.

The magazine claimed that Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, Paula Abdul, Whitney Port and Charlie Sheen had each been paid extraordniary amounts for posts on Twitter that encouraged their fans to spend money with companies such as Toyota, Best Buy and American Airlines.

Miss Kardashian had reportedly been paid $10,000 to endorse the shoe line she is in fact affiliated with, Shoedazzle.com, on Twitter.

She currently has more than 15million followers.

Controversial: The store's new direction has seen the featuring of same-sex couples (above) in its ad campaigns

Controversial: The store's new direction has seen the featuring of same-sex couples (above) in its ad campaigns, which has sparked plenty of talk

But while Shoedazzle.com allegedly
continues its attempts to attract new customers through social media,
JCPenney appears as though it has succeeded.

Ms Garcia took to Twitter yesterday to express her amusement over the suspicious coincidence of her own.

She
re-tweeted a post sent by one of her new followers: '@ninagarcia I am
only following you because @herbgreenberg mentioned you on CNBC, but I
am sure there are other good reasons to follow u.'

The style queen remains one of the fashion game's busiest personalities.

'You might think Garcia is some powerful Wall Street analyst, right Or even some rain-making M&A banker Um, nope'

In her new role as JCPenney's 'style voice', she is working closely with the company's design teams.

A
press statement read: 'In her new role, Garcia will… offer trend
direction and insight into the company’s exclusive apparel collections.'

It continued: 'Garcia’s style advice will be made available to consumers nationwide through a variety of in-store activations, digital initiatives, and social media chats throughout the year.'

As for the stores themselves, new layouts that feature around a central location called The Square, will be introduced.

Yesterday's triumph may prove fleeting, however, as it comes after news that JCPenney president Michael Francis, who had been hired by Mr Johnson just nine months ago, resigned last month.

An anonymous employee told Business Insider that Mr Johnson's intended upgrades may backfire.

'I fear we are turning into Sears, the laughing stock of retail,' they told the publication.