Copyright J.C. Penney Company, Inc. and/or JCP Media Inc.
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I used to like shopping at “JCP” (I’m down with the new nomenclature) but I’m one straw short of never stepping foot in your store again.
First, let me start by saying that I couldn’t agree more that the store needed a facelift in more ways than one. I was a little hesitant about the new pricing strategy, but thought hey, now I can stroll into the store whenever I want and not have to worry whether I have a coupon, if there was a sale, etc. However, since all of these changes have taken place, here’s what I’ve found:
1. I ALWAYS look and almost always buy a dress for holiday parties there. Great selection and I’m really picky. I thought the new lower pricing would be great, but guess what? I paid less when I shopped sales and used coupons than what I would have paid for your everyday low price. Plus, I used to buy 2-3 at at time since the deals were so good. So guess where I bought my holiday dress this past year? Not at JCP. The kicker – I found one at JCP that was damaged (zipper, hem and some pulling on the material). I could have worn it once given what was wrong with it and decided to take it up to the register to see if I could get $20-$30 taken off given the damage. They offered to knock off 10%, no more. My “bought it elsewhere” dress in perfect condition cost less with a sale and coupon.
2. I have two young kids that grow out of their clothes in 6-8 months, and beat the crap out of what they wear. I always shopped end of season clearance and bought a ton of stuff. I browsed this year and found next to nothing, or the “clearance” prices were nothing close to what I used to see. I’ve only purchased two shirts, and not convinced they were worth what I paid was worth it given the time of year.
3. I love your glossy new ads, and the comparison pricing is compelling, but who are you targeting exactly? The girl in the ad above looks about 12 in my book. Not to mention, the lighting is such that her arms look like a bad photoshop job, or, you’ve resorted to hiring aliens. If you’re targeting 12 year old aliens girls, I guess you’ve hopped on that bandwagon and completely disenfranchised us gals who don’t wear a size 0. Why would I think anything you’re selling would look good on me? I am not an alien stick figure.
4. You keep changing shit. Yes, I dropped an “S” bomb. Sorry. But when I run out on my lunch hour, my time is precious. I was just in the store and an entire section that I used to shop is now shrouded in a mysterious “coming soon” curtain. Do you sell that brand anymore? Did it move? Could you post a sign and let me know? After searching for someone, anyone, who worked there, I discovered that my section is now located somewhere else, and there’s a lot less of it. Did I buy anything? Nope, I ran out of time trying to figure out where everything moved.
5. Catalog counter now closed. Ok, I don’t shop catalog but I shop Internet. Now, instead of going to the old catalog desk to pick up my Internet order, I can “conveniently” go to any register. At which point, someone has to run back to the old catalog area to pick up my order and run back to whatever register I’m at. Wouldn’t it be easier and save time for me to just go to where you keep stuff? Which brings me to why I don’t like shopping online with you either – do you have any idea how annoying it is to click on item after item only to find there are literally no sizes left. I mean, really?
Apparently your Q4 earnings reflect my sentiments above, and just this week I received (wait for it), a coupon from JCP. Save $10 off a $50 purchase. Coupon received on Wednesday, have to use by Sunday. It’s a good start, but right now I don’t want to shop in person (see #3 and #4 above), and if I shop online, see #5 above. I will say that I did like your Black Friday pricing and would plan to shop Black Friday again this year. But I’m not sure if a store, and my closet, can survive on Black Friday alone. Just sayin’.
See you 11/29/13