Saturday, February 11, 2012

Something New and Sparkly - An Almost Blue Bird, an Almost Blue Dress, and an Update on J. C. Penney's




Dress: Olsenboye, J. C. Penney's
Shoes: AMI Clubwear
Bag: Journeys
Necklace: The Tote Trove

I have a penchant for parrots.  I love their wild primary colors, their lush surroundings, and their piercing don't-mess-with-me eyes.  I just finished a trio of custom parrot-themed felt necklaces (more on that later) and decided that I wanted a version of my own.

The finished piece ended up really setting off this black and blue colorblock dress I recently ordered from J. C. Penney's (JCP).  I purchased it with my very last JCP coupon just days before the awful sale and coupon ban went into effect.  I had an opportunity to visit the "new and improved" JCP last weekend, and I was sorely disappointed.  Sparsely populated racks replaced the once-cheerful clutter, and the price tags were discretely marked with prices in the $20-$25 range.  Now, at 40% off the regular price, those are good (or, as JCP's new campaign proclaims, "fair and square") numbers.  However, in the old days, regular-priced merchandise would be marked anywhere from 25% to 50% off and you would be able to use one of JCP's trademark generous coupons.  In the store's heyday, you could even use two coupons, including the extra 15% off one you'd get from doing an online survey after making a purchase. Those deals made JCP seem special, like an elusive crush that still paradoxically managed to deliver.  The new pricing scheme kind of reminds me of Target's (a company for which new JCP CEO Ron Johnson used to work and has been credited for revitalizing)  The prices are reasonable, but not crazy-good, the kind that inspire you to decorously choose a single garment instead of gleefully stocking up on a whole bunch.

Not that I bought even one item.  I was so unimpressed that I hightailed it to Marshalls, where I found a nice selection of Valentine's Day gifts as well as my beloved parrot pillow.  See, it all circles back to parrots. 

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