I work at JCP, and sometimes it's easier to get approved in the store because typically you're applying due to a purchase. Though I do not have "proof" of the odds.
If you'd like a better chance, on our application through the store we have a "pending sale amount" box. This typically is used for the furniture or jewelry department to help the customer not only get approved, but receive a better starting limit to cover the cost of the purchase. Even though you may not be buying furniture or jewelry, just ask the sales associate if they could input your purchase amount anyways, say like $200. This will help the system lean more in your favor.
Since I've never used the said input, instant approval amounts range from $500-$2000. Lately, I have not seen anything lower nor higher. It's been a long time since I saw instant approval amounts of $150 or $7000!
Also, it may actually be easier if you get denied, too. We have a store backdoor number to the credit center, which I'm sure would be very happy to put through a recon request. After all, the store DOES want your business The card is backed by GE.
Kohl's is backed by Cap One, who may be fairly easy. My mom is thinking of applying for the card because our family friend works for the store and wants to help her with credit apps...after I told my mom who backs it, she wrinkled her nose. Cap One just denied her for an auto loan refi. I really hope she doesn't apply, she needs to cool her jets and pay off what she has!
I think you have a good chance to get approved for JCPenney card. They're pretty easy to get. Kohls card is tougher to get. IMO. It took me two times to get the card. I was applying inside the store.
OP sorry for denials
When anyone starts to see denials it's time to stop all app's.
Look over your credit profile.
Retreat to the garden
Let INQ's & cards age,