JC Penney decided a number of months ago that they will no longer involve themselves in the negative downward spiral of supporting promotions and will replace the promotional language with the new phrase “month-long value.”
On paper this looked really smart. Aggressive – and a compliment to the new store interiors and the new flag-like logo. After all, according to Advertising Age, the store was hosting over 590 advertising events a year with hundreds of clearances that resulted in declining revenue even though average retail prices rose.
So the plan to offer lower prices is still on the rack (so to speak) --only it will called “best prices” and continue to be offered twelve times a year – “every first and third Friday, every month”.
Get it? Me neither.
I guess that’s why there is a four-letter word back in JC Penney vocabulary.
JC Penney has to break out from being the middle of the road retailer and a middle of the road advertiser. That’s why they went to advertising that made fun of catalogs, direct mail, coupons and deals to make consumers buy. They hired Ron Johnson as their CEO, formerly of Apple Inc. They strengthen up the fight and wrapped themselves as the American Company that wants to be your Company with a capital “C”. Yet there is also indications that ad budgets will decrease in 2013. Just when they are trying to ensure that you and I -- current and potential customers -- understand the price mentality too.
Let's face it, shoppers are all about the deal. But in retail, (possibly without doing their research) JCP has proved if you call it something other than “sale” we shoppers might just be too distracted in our busy lives to care.