Amid press leaks making it appear that JCPenney is desperate to cut costs and laying off several thousand workers and news that Macy’s is trying to block the new licensing deal between Martha’s housewares company and JCPenney, JCPenney has launched a multi-platform campaign to rebrand itself.
Maybe you’ve seen the commercial.
Maybe you watched Bill Ackman, on the board of JCPenney, get interviewed about it on CNBC.
Maybe you’ve seen the print ad. (Click on the ad to see bigger.)
Maybe you’ve seen the ads on the company’s website, Facebook page or gotten an email.
So, what does it all really mean? The big plan is a new pricing strategy and return policy called “Fair and Square” to simplify things for shoppers. It took some looking, but I’ve ferreted out some details for you.
MSN Money has the lowdown on the new pricing model.
Here are the new tiers of prices, starting Feb. 1:
- Daily low prices. This is similar to the “everyday low pricing” model that Wal-Martmade famous.
- Monthly discounts. There will now only be 12 promotional events each year — one a month — when some items will be marked down further.
- Clearance deals. JCPenney is timing its “Best Prices” clearance sales to the first and third Friday of the month — when many shoppers get paid.
Internet Retailer reports:
The new everyday prices are in line with what consumers are already paying when discounts are factored in. For example, consumers paid an average of $3.30 after all discounts for a particular bath towel that had a regular price of $10 last year. The new pricing strategy resets the regular price for that towel to $4, [Ron] Johnson [CEO] says. The retailer also will feature “best price Fridays” on the first and third Friday of each month during which merchandise that needs to be cleared out will sell for less. When J.C. Penney needs to move existing towel stock to make room for new colors, for example, the old towels will be sold for $2 each only on those Fridays. The stores will have no clearance sections, Johnson says.
MSN Money also reported that the store layout and inventory will change:
It’s doing away with what it calls “the confusing and seemingly endless racks” in traditional department stores. Instead, JCPenney plans to carve its stores into dozens of mini-shops based on individual brands. There will be a Martha Stewart shop, for example, along with separate shops for Izod, Liz Claiborne and L’amour Nanette Lepore.
The Budget Babe reported more specifically:
By August 1st, JCPenney will start rolling out mini “shops” within the store. By 2013, they will launch a new retail concept called Town Square. By 2014, they’ll have a whole new prototype for the store and by 2015 every store will be completely transformed.
Internet Retailer also reported:
The plan is to have approximately 100 mini-shops in each J.C. Penney store by 2015.
Stores will also prominently feature a social area in the center of the store—Johnson called it a “town square”—that is intended as a place for consumers to gather. Johnson did not reveal what the town square section would contain.
Brand Channel provided this schedule for changes:
Beginning in August, jcpenney will begin a month-by-month, shop-by-shop strategy to update all stores with new and exciting merchandise and presentation. Two to three shops will be installed monthly, each and every month, over a four-year transformation period, including the debut of Town Square during 2013. These initiatives will culminate in the complete transformation of JCPenney by the end of 2015.
Brand Channel also shows us the logo is being changed (for the 3rd time in 3 years!). Here’s a sneak peek.