Fair and Square

J.C. Penney kicked off the new year with a branding makeover. A decrease in sales and new Chief Executive Ron Johnson prompted the rebranding. Johnson describes this shift as a return to the Golden Rule. J.C. Penney, now referring to itself as JCP, is making it easier for customers to shop.

Johnson said he changed things up because it didn’t make sense –why make the customer work? Why make them wake up at the crack of dawn or sort through a mess of coupons? JCP is implementing “fair and square” pricing, instead of marking up prices in order to reduce them for sales; JCP is offering everyday low prices and monthly sales.

I stopped in JCP two weekends ago and was pretty impressed. The sections of the store that were updated were much less cluttered and had a modern twist. It will be interesting to see how sales are affected by the pricing change. Most reviews seem to be positive as people appreciate the convenience. But does this pricing take some fun out of shopping? I know I love getting a good deal, especially on clothes. I leave the mall feeling accomplished and savvy. But at the same time, I do feel foolish for paying full price on some items. For example, I would never pay full price at Gap and Express. They bombard my email with coupons daily, so if there is an item I want, I wait a couple of days for the really good coupon. Only time will tell if JCP’s strategy will pay off, or if shoppers simply crave the thrill of the sale.

Comments

Ron Johnson

I'm excited to see what Ron Johnson can do as well because I imagine he's going to reshape every aspect of their business. While with Apple, Johnson was able to make their retail stores an exciting destination spot where everyone lingers and touches everything in the store. It'll be fun to see what innovations he comes up with for JCP!

JCP TV Spots

Hannah, have you seen the JCP television spots with Ellen Degeneres? These were said to be extremely effective among the target audience, and have generated a large amount of buzz for the retail giant. Ellen has become the new spokesperson for JCP, and while this was originally met with some controversy, JCP stood by their decision, and I think it's been their best move yet. Here's an article that sums up the decision and the TV spots nicely: http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/jc-penney-ads-win-big-oscars/233011/