Wednesday, February 1, 2012

J. C. Penney's Gets a Scream of a Makeover

If you've watched TV in the past week or so, then there's a good chance that you've been puzzled by those J. C. Penney's commercials in which screaming women do battle with bygone sale signs and expired coupons to the tune of the ominously silent "enough. is. enough, 2.1.12" finale.

It's no secret that J. C. Penney's (or as the kids say, JCP) is my favorite store.  I've defended it in many a blog post, incorporated its clothes into countless outfits, and clipped its coupons for more than a decade.  So, I was burning to find out what was behind all this menacing ad campaign hoopla.  After skimming several online articles I learned that a new CEO, Ron Johnson, takes the helm of the 110-year-old department store on February 1 (today!), and that he's giving it a facelift.  Which means that he's doing away with sales and coupons.  That's right.  No more get $10 off of a $25 purchase, no more scratch-off sales, no more friends and family discounts.  (Only the JCP Rewards program, which grants charge customers $10 gift certificates for each $250 spent, will remain in effect.)  Instead, all merchandise will be sold at the everyday low price of 40% off.  What's more, the store's signature "messy" clearance racks and sale posters will be eradiated from its landscape.    

I took the news ambivalently.  There's something exciting about such an overhaul.  Yet like most people, I fear change.  (And I had a real soft spot for those unkempt rounders.)   The questions that plague me are endless.  Without my trusty coupons, will I ever again know the thrill of snagging a top for just $4.99?  Will my delirious coupon-deprived state drive me to recklessly rack up charge transactions just for the high of scoring $10 rewards?  Will the allure of the JCP shopping experience languish without a diet of coupons, revealing ostensibly wonderful finds to be merely sort of cute once stripped of their on-sale splendor?

Fortunately, I am in close contact with someone who infiltrated JCP's ranks earlier this week.  According to this source, the store had already undergone a transformation and was noticeably sparser.  However, even without JCP's time-honored sales and coupons, the 40% off prices remained affordable.  Although I am grateful for this information, I will, of course, need to conduct my own investigation and report my purchases, er findings, accordingly.


Cozy in Texas said...

I'm curious to see how this works out. Does this new CEO have a track record I wonder?

Jewel Divas said...

We don't have JC Pennys :(