JCP adds promotional events

Today’s RetailWire panel discussion centers on JCPenney’s decision to add five additional “Best Price Friday” events through the rest of 2012, in addition to the two-a-month already planned. (One of the added events will be on Black Friday.) I think this is indicative of the problem JCP has had communicating its new “Fair & Square” value strategy in the first place:

Part of the problem with “Best Price Fridays” is that they have been positioned as clearance events. These are the dates (twice a month, with some added events according to the news story) when new markdowns are taken. The problem with this concept is that there is no “call to action” if the clearance goods are at lower prices until they are gone.

Likewise the selected monthlong sale prices that are better than the everyday “Fair & Square” prices: No sense of urgency, no clearcut savings message. JCP would be wise to spend more money building store traffic, and less money on the “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” spot promoting hassle-free returns.

As I’ve said before, JCP should have worked on reinvention of the store and merchandising experience first, then get the marketing and pricing in sync…instead of the other way around.

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