• Cecile Corral

JCP Hits Back-to-School With New Ad Campaign

Plano, Texas — Noting its competition is “square in our sights,” JCPenney is navigating the back-to-school season with an aggressive advertising campaign, in-store cross merchandising efforts and new online features, the company reported during its second quarter earnings call last week.

Its “All Access” campaign for student shoppers fixes on trend-right apparel fashions as well as a “Campus Shop” for dorm dwellers that couples bedding and decorative accessories with mini-refrigerators and microwave ovens, “all aimed at rocking the college students’ dorm room,” said Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandising officer.

Pushing its multi-channel strategy, the retailer also created an online site — www.jcpallaccess.com — to support the campaign.

Consequently, Penney’s www.jcpenney.com site saw a 35 percent increase in sales during the second quarter that it attributed with fueling the retailer’s direct business — comprising catalog and Internet — with a 7.1 percent sales increase.

“JCPenney.com continues to attract new, young customers to JCPenney and is a key component of our direct business and out multi-channel strategy,” Hicks said.

So far, JCP’s back-to-school sales are on track, the retailer reported.

Also making strides for JCP is its home business, which Hicks said “continues to be a very good business for us. It is performing above the store average, and we have number of businesses in there all working well for us.”

In other news, JCP continues to enhance its sourcing abilities, improving cycle time in key areas, like juniors and Chris Madden Home collection, Hicks said.

“We can hit the market now with product — we’re very timely,” he continued. “We’re working to improve our cycle time to get the product faster to the customer. (Sourcing) allows us to make sure we have the looks in fashion for the customer. You see the look of Arizona and how it is right on with what is happening with junior customers. We’re able to offer that through private brands and grow them with brands like Chris Madden Home collection for JCPenney.”

JCP remains on track to open 10 new units in October and November. It is also on schedule to roll out its new point-of-sale system, with about half of its total units to be equipped by yearend.

As of yet, JCP has not hired a new chief operating officer and continues to look to fill the post, said Myron “Mike” Ullman, chairman of the board and CEO.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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