By Michelle Graff

In late December, 109-year-old retailer J.C. Penney took a bold social media step forward when it started hawking its wares on Facebook, a move that has been met with lukewarm reviews.

While nobody can begrudge the Plano, Texas-based retailer that the move was forward-thinking, this Dec. 29 article from slammed the retailer’s Facebook shop for being “unimaginative” and speculated that the retailer might have blown a golden opportunity--being the first major retailer to sell on Facebook--by rushing into it without much thought. The Dallas Business Journal, meanwhile, noted that the “verdict [is] still out” on J.C. Penney’s Facebook shop.

J.C. Penney didn’t respond when I reached out to them asking how Facebook sales have been thus far. But I took a look at the store’s Facebook shop on Monday and I hardly thought the featured model’s outfit there was boring. I would say, however, the selection of clothes that I thumbed through didn’t blow me away. I also thought the photos were too small. I saw one dress that I liked, but the picture was too minute to see any of the outfit’s details, and there was no way to enlarge it or look at it from a different angle, which I feel is a pretty standard feature for retailers selling clothes online these days.

I haven’t see any jewelry retailers or brands selling on Facebook--yet. I am curious to know if anyone in the jewelry industry, brands or retailers, has plans to start pushing baubles on the social networking scene. Or, if you think that sites such as Facebook are better used as defined, for social networking.

I think there’s one clear lesson that can be gleaned from J.C. Penney: It’s good to be first but it’s even better to wait and really do it well.

I’d love to hear your thoughts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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