JCPenney: Do You Miss Us?

February 1st 2012 JCPenney began a huge advertising campaign featuring Ellen DeGeneres. The whole crux of the campaign was that they would no longer be issuing coupons for their products. Their low prices would be enough to get people in the door.

I remember this thought going through my mind “That’s never going to work but I am REALLY biased in the world of coupons. Surely the JCPenney marketing people have done the research.” I just know the psychology of the coupon and it’s powerful.

This past Tuesday the public finally got to see the results of this new campaign. For the first three months of this year sales plummeted 18.9 percent at stores open at least one year. Net losses for the period were $55 million. Executives blamed the results on the departure of deal-hunting shoppers after the company changed its pricing strategy in early February to abandon coupons.

In the last three months, foot traffic at stores dropped 6 percent on weekdays and 12 percent on weekends.

The response Tuesday was their stock also plummeting.

JCPenney says they are going to fix it by educating their consumers. They think educating us will override the practice of coupons.

Others don’t agree. At an investors’ conference in April, Karen Hoguet, Macy’s chief financial officer, reminded attendees of the lesson. “People love these coupons. They love thinking they got us,” she said. “From the customer perspective, it’s been very important.”

In my opinion I think JCPenney may have forgotten that coupons ARE marketing material. By seeing a coupon for a store I am more likely to walk through the door. I have to be honest- seeing the commercials mocking those who use coupons didn’t really inspire me to purchase anything. They didn’t make me angry but they didn’t make me think I would get a great deal either.

Did you quit shopping at JCPenney because of the commercials? Did you even notice the commercials?

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  1. Lori says

    I find more bargains now that they have stopped the coupons. I shop on the on the first and third weekends of each month and find GREAT deals. On the first and third Friday they mark down stuff to great prices. My last trip I spent under $20 and came home with three dresses. You can find $2 prices on tons of stuff if you’re willing to spend the time looking. I love it!

  2. Rosie says

    I hate having to deal with coupons, trying to find sales etc. I don’t have time to mess around with this stuff – my time is worth the money I might save on something. I wish all coupons would go away or at least the paper ones.
    I really have too much else to do than cut out coupons and race around trying to use them before expiration. I don’t know how many I have thrown out because the date has passed. I live in a rural area so using coupons means a long drive somewhere – not convenient at all and I spend more in gas & tolls.

  3. Cindy Lubbe says

    I do not like their campaign and also do not like their catalog that they send to us. I always liked their coupon program and the quality of their items. I am very disappointed in this new program and myself as well as most of my friends have stopped going to them. We like shopping for deals and working the coupons so when they took this away it took the fun out of shopping at this store. Even though sometimes we bought more than we intended which is what the coupon is suppose to do, I do not understand why they would want to do such as radical change.

  4. Kelly says

    I’m not really a JCP shopper, however, I LOVE ELLEN and wanted to support her as the spokesperson. But when I went in there, mama was missin’ her coupons! I agree, if I don’t have a coupon to match with a sale, I feel like I haven’t “won”. I just really, really hope they don’t drop Ellen, I love her “My fair and square lady” segments. :)

  5. John Donaldson says

    We did shop at JC’s once since the new ‘no coupon’ ad campaign and I thought the prices were probably as good or better than with the constant ‘one day only’ sales and 10% coupons but the advertising campaign – both TV and in the newspapers has totally turned me off JC’s – possibly forever!! Yes, I was annoyed by the sales flyers in the paper and in the mailbox two or three times a week, but the new advertising campaign really sucks!

  6. Emily says

    I shopped at JCP once since their switch. I bought two pairs of what I thought were the same workpants I’ve always bought. They were one of their Friday “Best Deals” on sale for $11.00. That was pretty awesome considering I usually spent $20+ for them & then used a coupon. I realized once I got home that they were made of a cheaper itchy material, so I returned them. Even the customer service clerk made note of that. I tried to order some shoes and other things that were ‘best price’, but they were always out of stock, so I gave up. I started shopping at Kohls using their 15-30% off coupons and I feel like I am saving a lot more. I got two pairs of pants, a belt and 3 tank tops for $55 about a month ago, and got $10 back in Kohl’s Cash that I used on another pair of pants which ended up costing me $14.00 from a retail price of $39.99.

  7. shelly says

    I actually like not having to have a coupon with me. I think their prices are very competitive. I bought my little girl a large amount of Carter’s clothing there the other day for a reasonable price. Also, they carry plus sizes for older girls. I have a daughter who needs the larger size and right now I think Penneys is the only place I can get her clothing (at a reasonable cost). I enjoy Penneys and I like the no nonsense pricing.

  8. erline harmon says

    i agree i loved the coupons and it had to be a man in charge that changed my fravorite store in to a kmart type. i two have noticed no people in the stores but i have noticed that macys has picked up a whole lot of bussiness.i loved pennys now i am on the look out for a new store!

  9. LA Davidson says

    That commercial was SUPER annoying but I was never a big fan of JcPenny anyway. It seemed to me they needed modernization to compete vs eliminating coupons. In my opinion they could have taken the wasted marketing money and updated the displays & the clothing. Their stores have no visual appeal.

  10. Shannon says

    I haven’t set foot in a JCPenney since they launched their “no coupon” campaign. Maybe it was my imagination, but I always felt like I could get more for my money by pairing a coupon with a sale item. Don’t get me wrong…it’s great that a sale item will now remain on sale all month; it’s sort of comforting. But I feel robbed of my opportunity to nab an even better deal by dropping by JCPenney at just the right time and using a coupon.

  11. Shary says

    They also changed the lines of clothing they carried. I think the quality dropped off. I wasn’t impressed on my latest visit.

  12. Alicia K says

    Yes i did quit shopping there! Their new style in general; the colors, the little dumb square…its tacky looking. None of their campaigns make me WANT to rush to the store.

  13. Jennifer Speed says

    I haven’t quit shopping there but I am really disappointed because in m opinion even though its supposed to be fair pricing, they still seem to be highly priced. I think coupons are a great idea. They should bring coupons back because it is true, people tend to shop at stores where you can use coupons.