Considering they're vertically integrated (and rapidly expanding via both new B&Ms and online which will soon allow economies of scale), Uniqlo will most likely always offer a better product at a similar pricepoint. Also, because they cater to a generally smaller population (people in larger, fashionable cities), they can end up doing trendier stuff, which just wouldn't fly with JCP, who has to cater to the bulk of America. No surprise that this "new" JCP stuff is completely generic.
The thing with the JC Penney customer is that they generally just don't care about fashion. That's it. They can bring in Wooster or whatever internet superstar they want, it's not going to change anything. I know who he's worked for in the past and I'm sure he's capable of working on cool cheap shit, but it's just not going to happen. Just stand in a JCP for a while and look at what their customers actually buy. They're highly resistant to change - look at RL-backed American Living, which was decent (for what it was), yet lasted for only a few years because the customer base kept buying pleated chinos and polyester shirts. Meanwhile, they're pumping in copious amounts of shitty graphic tees and poorly-designed sportswear. Especially for such a large, well-established department store, it's really impossible to change their entire image so that they can both retain their customers AND attract a fan base that would appreciate the new clothing, but never considered shopping there before.
I don't even see a great deal of effort being put into making the clothes a great value, considering Americans (especially people who shop at JC Penney) don't give a shit about quality.
Also, hilarious that Wooster actually talks about wearing this stuff, given that he's always draped out in Thom Browne and Engineered Garments and the like.