The Return of the Saturday Sale?

A while back we told you about JC Penney’s new tactic: canning the big weekend sale and the coupon circular in favor of the Wal-Mart, “low-prices-always” model. Well, nobody’s buying it.

By offering year-around low prices, JCP wanted to change the customer’s belief that ‘the coupon is the golden key that unlocks the door to the biggest discounts’. But experts say consumers have a strong relationship with their coupons and aren’t likely to give them up anytime soon. “We learned coupons are a drug. They really drove traffic.” Consumer Affairs

In fact, business is down 20%, a loss of $160 million. Of course, JCPenney’s CEO says, no, this is still the right idea. You just haven’t caught on yet. It’s YOUR fault, dummies! (I may have added that last bit.)

So what’s the deal? (I’m asking.) Are you a JCP fan? Have you strayed? Do you miss The Big Saturday Sale? Is there less urgency to get there without some big sale that expires at 9pm? Let us know. And have a great weekend!

16 thoughts on “The Return of the Saturday Sale?”

  1. I knew this was doomed to fail once they stopped producing a circular. It’s not the sales and coupons that count, but getting the word out there. Their silly television commercials do not remind you that the store exists or what it sells (they should follow the Target model–relate a real life situation to a store item). Even if they never have a “sale” again, they should still put out a weekly flyer with featured products and their low prices. And, let’s face it, if they need to get rid of slow movers, leftovers and seasonal items, they are going to have to have a sale sometime.

  2. This J C Penny idea was bad from the start. No one believes in sale prices every day unless it’s a proven company like Marshall’s or TJMaxx with good name brands. They also have the worst commercials (television) of any company, making me refuse to walk in the door. I’m not at all surprised it’s failing and profits are down. The brand didn’t have a good reputation to begin with so why not base their campaigns on improved merchandise?

  3. I use to shop at JCP all the time. I hate their new set up. I don’t know how it is at other stores but at my store, the selection has really gone downhill. In fact I have decided to close my charge account and I don’t even get my hair done there anymore. I miss the “old” JCP.

      1. All the comments are focused on the coupons. People expect to get great value and not have to pay for it. It is a change and people are afraid of change that they do not understand. The prices went down to already include the coupns that used to be there. This way everyone can get the deal. The quality is still there, the associates are still there, nothing has changed but the fact that things are going back to the way it was when JCP started. .

  4. I’d been a loyal Penney’s customer for many, many years. While I enjoyed the coupons and sales, I really enjoyed the quality merchandise and great selection of clothing I’d find, and never failed to find an excellent bargain (with or without a coupon!). Since the “change” I’ve been in the store once, and came away with nothing. I haven’t been back. I’m not certain who the target audience is with the strangely odd commercials, and new “glossy fashion mag” brochures I’m now getting, but it’s certainly no longer me. I no longer glance at what they send in the mail…I simply toss it in the garbage. I’ve yet to come across anyone pleased with the change. If they want Marketing that works, I suggest they go back to what they had. It would seem their targeted group of consumers is only the younger, “hip” generation. However from experience, this group of consumers has less to spend…especially in this economy. Target the “Mom generation”, lol. We’re the ones who buy for our husbands, sons, daughters, neices, nephews….and ourselves, and like to think we’re getting a bargain when we do so. Whoever’s at the helm of JC Penney’s Marketing campaign, has really messed up!

    1. interesting. the guy running the show is no dope. he but he comes from Apple, where “image” is half the draw. dont know if that translates to JCP or not!

  5. Bad move on Jcp part. They whole go back to the way things were. Whole also bring back their fatalities. Believe they will go bellie up if they continue on this path.

  6. O.k. guys. Here is an oldster with my take on the subject. We are all as today’s consumers badly spoiled because there is a super abundance of product from which we may choose. And because of this super abundance of product, there is a lot that doesn’t sell at full retail markup. Therefore, the practical or frugal consumer sits and waits until “mark-DOWN” occurs. We all know that stores get product in and within a few days it is 25% off or 30% or 40% off. It MAY go back up to full retail markup after the weekend sale. But it doesn’t take long before it is red-lined to 50% off. Then 75% off. Then 75% plus an additional 20% off. You know the drill.

    That is today’s market. Years ago (when i was young and raising a family), you had the occasional big sale – “white sales,” yearly appliance sales, end-of-summer sale, etc. However, rarely were mark-DOWNS that equaled what we see in today’s market.

    JC Penny is trying (as other major stores are doing, too) to get back to where there is not so much mark-DOWN. I have already (in the past two years) seen department stores put less merchandise on the floor to sell. Rarely do you go in a store these days and have a hard time navigating the racks of clothes. There is more space between. Floor space with NO racks of merchandise does not translate into lots of sold merchandise. However, managers are tired of buying merchandise and having to sell it for less than they purchase it.

    Therefore, we see the new strategy of JCP. We WILL see other attempts to lessen the loss of profits via merchandise that has to be marked down below cost in order to move it.

  7. I have to disagree with all of you. Do you even know how JCPenney started? It was a cash only basis store with simple pricing and everyday values- prices the customers did not have to wonder about and quality merchandise. We as a society have gotten used to difficulty in our lives and so the concept of everyday value (the way JCPenney stared) is strange to us. The coupons are still there, they are just included already in the everyday low price. PLUS, jcp card members still get reward coupons for shopping not only with their jcp card but with any credit/debit card AND they still get their birthday coupon. Do you actually expect to get quality items free because that what it sounds like. The merchandise is still the same, the people are still the same, the company is still the same- it is just going back to basics the way Mr. Penney intended it to be all along. Do you really want to have to wait in line at 4 am to get a great deal or do you want that great deal all the time? AND ciculars do go out. THey come out as month long catalogs and everyweek there is new one in the paper

  8. I like the new concept and am a huge JCPenny fan. I do think that it would help if they sent a flyer in Sunday paper. I like the commercials, but don’t thank they do anything to get people into the stores. Keep the everyday low prices and advertise a little different.

  9. I am a fan of JCPenny. While I like the idea of regular prices all of the time. I also use the sunday papers to see where I will go next week. JCPenny gets lost in the shuffle. No sale paper, I do not rememeber to go to JCPenny stores unless I am going for a reason. Keep low prices but through in a sale every now and then so people remember to come to JCPennys

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