I admit it… I have been hard on J.C. Penney's since they changed leadership. HERE and HERE are two of the last posts I wrote which primarily focused on the advertising campaign and their decision to not have sales. I still do not like the majority of their advertising decisions; however it was this mailer which caught my attention (I love prints):
Obviously, they have decided to follow retailers such as Kohl’s and Target and offer top designs at affordable price points. So, I thought.. Hmmm, I think I need to go back for another look...
The last time I walked into the doors, which was about a year ago, all I saw for women were dowdy, frumpy styles. I am happy to tell you that has changed!! When I entered, JCP I was first pleased to see a small Sephora greet me at the door. The entire store is clean and inviting….a change from the past as well. I enjoyed trying on many looks from JOE FRESH, WORTHINGTON, A.N.A., Nicole by Nicole Miller, Liz CLAIBORNE, MNG by Mango, and the designer who drew my attention to begin with….DURO OLOWU.
YES, I purchased five pieces I will share with you later. But, the really good news is that I found a lot of fashion forward looks at great prices and excellent quality. But, is it too late for JCP?
Harvard Business Review published a post by Roger Martin this week (March 11, 2013) headlined J.C.PENNEY DESPERATELY NEEDS A STRATEGY. Inside the piece, Martin writes:
“The problem with J.C. Penney is that it serves no compelling customer purpose – and neither did Borders. It doesn’t have an aspiration for winning – just for improving the current pathetic state. It hasn’t made a choice to pursue a distinctive where to play and how to win that makes it a must have-destination for some set of shoppers for some set of goods. This is the heart of strategy: a set of choices that aspires to win against all comers in a certain place by delivering a particular winning proposition.”
I went to JCP to see if my feelings could change about them. I did see changes and merchandise I liked. But, is that enough to make me want to go back? I am going to say that as of right now, based on my recent shopping experience…YES, I would go back. I do think they have great, affordable clothes for women 40+…we know there is a lot of money in the Boomer audience and most Boomers have favorable feelings of JCP from growing up shopping there. If they could tap into our audience with excitement, they just might discover a gold mine….but without changes to this marketing strategy, I think Roger Martin is right “there is little or no hope that J.C. Penney will prosper, let alone survive.” They still seem to be searching for who they are and who they want to target. The marketing strategy will require more work on the advertising, in store merchandising and promotion. I told the female sales person working check-out that I was a blogger…she said, “What’s a blogger?” I think women's clothing retail employees should know…it is kind of important!
****One more thing that is slightly frustrating...after telling us they will not do coupons, I went to their website to provide links for this post and, lo and behold, there is a $10 off coupon for shopping this week...I could have used it when I went in, but was not informed of it by ANYONE. So, I probably will not have time to return to the location for my $10...I could use it! If I had known to look for something like this, I would have. This does not help our reconciliation!****
What do you think about the changes at JCP? Do you shop there? Are you willing to check it out and what would compel you to go? Let’s give them some help, ladies, and voice our opinions!
Then, go visit the other bloggers from Katie's Favorite Things Blog Hop! and have
a wonderful spring day!!
Your "living-like-you-feel-40" tip of the day: Try some new looks with your style. Go out of your comfort zone, and try on pieces you normally would not! You just might be surprised!!