Penney’s Reintroduces Print Catalogs; Sales Go Up

JCPlast-catalog-fall-winter-2009It was an iconic doorstop in many homes: The J.C. Penney “Big Book” was a wish list for families around the country, until it shut down under economic pressures in 2009.

Since then, the company has gone through some serious transitions to try to regain their solid footing. And one of those transitions was introducing a new print catalog earlier this year.

The decision came after company execs realized they had “seriously underestimated” the effect that the print catalog had on sales figures. So they rolled out a new slimmed-down catalog, created in the new style of lifestyle catalog rather than comprehensive product listing.

According to the figures reported by J.C. Penney, it appears to be working, with sales up by about 6% this past quarter.

“It’s taken several quarters now, but there are growing signs that J C Penney is finally returning to viability as a major retailer,” reports Clayton Browne in ValueWalk.

“Despite a number of missteps and restarts, including the disastrous tenure of former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) exec Ron Johnson as CEO, the brand has managed to refurbish its image and attract more customers to both its brick-and-mortar stores and its online outlet,” Browne notes.

Surely print wasn’t the only change they made in the right direction. Still, it’s indicative that the people running the marketing seem to understand that a new reality requires a new strategy. It seems they are back on the right track, and part of that strategy is a recommitment to print. We like what we are seeing, and hope they keep it up.