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JC Pennys Sales Annoucement = no more extreme sales

January 26, 2012

Have you seen those commercials that JC Penny has been putting out where people (okay, women in the 30’s & 40’s) are screaming because they are so overwhelmed with sales, coupons, and the idea that they could have saved more.

JC Penny has released a press release that says they “introduced a new pricing strategy called Fair and Square, which includes three types of prices. Everyday, regular prices, which are always great; Month-Long Values, even better prices on the things you need now; and Best Prices, jcpenney’s lowest prices, which always happen on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month as jcpenney makes room for exciting new merchandise. These prices will be coupled with a new promotional cadence that is in sync with customers’ lives. Rather than inundating the customer with a relentless series of sales, coupons, rebates and retail gimmicks, jcpenney will host 12 promotional events each year, on a monthly calendar. Each month will include even better values on the things customers are looking to buy during the month and a host of exciting products and services that are unique to the month.”

They also mention reinventing some of their brands, introducing new ones like Martha Stewart (which may change pending a Macy’s lawsuit), and Ellen as a brand partner. JC Pennys also will have “new instore signage reflecting true price clarity as well as edited merchandise assortments for the monthly store set”.

What are your thoughts?

Their previous attempts at elbowing into a crowded market were punches at Kohl’s saying that you “don’t have to come back to save” with releases of coupons. Before that, they tried to focus on style and selection as their main focus. Now it seems they are trying the Walmart model of business – well, Walmart plus actual customer service – of keeping prices low so that the company develops a loyal customer base. Can that work for a clothing store? Other low-priced clothing stores (Rugged Warehouse, Cato, Dots) are in a different market, and though Macy’s everyday value collection has done well since it was introduced, customers still think of Macy’s as expensive and high-end. Will this tarnish or help JC Penny’s image? Will they manage to steal customers from Kohl’s, or have customers become too accustomed to grabbing clothes in an “extreme coupon” state of mind? Will those “once a month” sales become the bane of the store’s existence? Or will the new customer service improvements help them rise above?

Speaking of buying things purely because they are on sale, check out Moola Saving Mom’s post about whether sales are worth it and what she calls the “Spend Less, Save Less” philosophy. It really makes you think about JC Penny’s strategy to become a store people shop at when they need something rather than driven by a sales event.

From → frugal living

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