|We Like Sales!|
I wrote about J C Penney’s big marketing change in January 2012. They moved to a “Walmart model” of “everyday low prices” and no sales promotions. It failed big time. Shoppers were accustomed to sales at Penney’s and did not like having to buy on the first and third Fridays to get the lowest price. Most didn’t know about the price structure and just saw Penney’s as a place with no coupons. As busy as people are these days, it’s no surprise. But it was a big surprise to Penney’s leadership. What did they do? At first they waited for customers to get used to the new Penney’s. Shoppers did not come back. Shopper wanted sales, not “everyday low prices.”
After turmoil at the top, Penney’s went back to their previous model of sales coupons. The trouble? Many long-time Penney’s customers had gotten out of the habit of shopping at Penney’s. Michael Francis, the new president who brought the no coupons/no sales policy, was replaced by his predecessor Mike Ullman. Then Penney’s put out apology ads. The apology was a bit vague, but it was still pretty unusual.
Recently when my mom was in a nursing home/convalescent center I had to go to the laundry to find her clothes. We didn’t remember to mark her clothes with her name, so it was off to the lost and found. I noticed most of the clothes were Penney’s brands. It struck me that Penney’s was the preferred brand of the middle class, at least among this age group.
|Sales Return to Penney’s|
I don’t know if it’s a matter of trust or habit, but it’s possible Penney’s has lost their customer base. You might not care, but I wonder where those shoppers have gone instead. Keeping the trust of your customers has to be a big thing. Then again, maybe it’s like Sears. Stores that used to be the backbone of middle class shopping now are more expensive than Walmart and Target. Sears and Penney’s don’t seem to have enough vibe to attract younger shoppers. It’s not exactly a favorite of Millennials.
What do you think? Will Penney’s survive? Who is replacing them? Macy’s? Target? Walmart? Where do you shop for basics?
Are we addicted to coupons? Would we believe a store is selling at rock bottom prices without coupon sales?
By the way, I still think that’s a very sexy shoe.