Thursday, June 7, 2012

JC Penney hits the wall

So JC Penney found out what other retailers have known all along. When you sell the same things as everyone else and you can't provide superior service, price matters.

After 3 months of stylishly promoting their subtle version of a monthly sale...

They're admitting defeat.

"No one really understood [month-long value]. What we intend to do is a sale; we run 12 a year," JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson is quoted as saying in Advertising Age.

But changing the words from "month long value" to "sale" won't turn around their fortunes. There are already at least three entrenched competitors that consumers look to for low prices, Walmart, Target and Kohl's.

Making their sales events a month long and promoting them less won't suddenly have consumers breaking down the doors. Retail is a now business. If the advertising doesn't make the cash register ring on the first weekend of the month, it won't magically become effective on the last.

What they really need is something to differentiate themselves beyond mere marketing. And that won't be easy.

Just ask Sears.

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