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
“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!!

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