My very first job ever in the world was at the JCPenney catalog department. I was 16 years old and never been kissed. Over time, I moved upstairs to the Men's Department where I would spend hours folding sweaters. In Syracuse, NY the local JCPenney was all the bomb. I made lifelong friends there and cherish those memories.
So I always kind of keep track of what JCP is doing through the years. It's an amazing brand that has had its ups and downs, but with incredible longevity.
Yesterday's move though, has to be the brand's most dramatic and I also believe the brand's smartest. It started out with a huge launch party, teaser television advertising campaign, website count-down clock, and a social media assault on Facebook and Twitter.
JCP is ending it's co-dependence on sales - big dramatic sales - and instituting an "everyday low price" strategy instead. As low as possible prices, same price all year round. And following on their success of their Sephora boutiques, JCP is also adding more store-within-the-store boutiques from the likes of Nanette Lepore and Martha Stewart.
I would have skipped the Martha Stewart part, personally, and the subsequent lawsuit with Macy's, but that's not the point I'm making. I think this is brilliant. Although expert sentiment was mixed, social media and fashion industry sentiment seemed to be loving it.
A price you can count on. Quality that you've known for years. Revamped style and product offerings. As a consumer and shopper, what's not to like? And complete transparency that the journey will begin on February 1st, as the brand rolls through the store, department by department, and restyles.
Oh and BTW, at a time when we all hate logo changes, I like the new logo! :) Double Oh ... between now and February 1st the stores are having crazy crazy sales for the last time.
Brilliant. makes me long for the good ole' days!
What's your experience? Jim.
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect series
Professor at NYU