Still Trouble at J.C.Penney
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is fine-tuning its communications skills as it transforms into JCP. Completion of its conversion to “specialty store” won’t be until 2015, when it plans to have 100 shop-in-shops. But near-term the company will need to focus on the “promotional department store” to grab back lost foot traffic as it works through its growing pains to migrate the J.C. Penney customer into a JCP shopper.
That doesn’t mean going back to the couponing model, although it will include a promotion here and there. Instead, the company is revamping how it showcases to the consumer its fair-and-square pricing strategy by making it easier for them to do comparisons when they shop. That adjustment in marketing focus was an admission from chief executive officer Ron Johnson on Friday during a conference call to Wall Street analysts following third-quarter results that the company has lost “half a billion [dollars] in sales for not having some comparison value for customers walking through the store.”
Johnson said, “This was another quarter of unbelievable learning for us at J.C. Penney. We’re now nine months into our transformation and we have eight weeks to go until we’re completely done anniversarying our promotional model. And each quarter, we learned a lot, we adapt, we try to move forward.”
Joe Fresh Joins J.C.Penney Though!
And speaking of J.C.Penney, though they might be changing their strategy, their still picking up some new collaborations. Canadian brand Joe Fresh has confirmed it will be launching e-commerce this spring. Launched in 2006 by Toronto-based food distributor Loblaw Companies Limited, the fashionable and highly affordable Joe Fresh is now sold at over 300 locations across Canada and has expanded beyond its humble supermarket beginnings, operating 6 standalone stores all located in the New York area.
Last July, Joe Fresh signed a partnership with American department store JCPenney and, in April 2013, plans to roll out nearly 700 dedicated Joe Fresh shops, ranging from approximately 1,000 to 2,500-square-feet, within newly renovated JCPenney stores, providing the Canadian brand with a platform for reaching millions of new American customers. Joe Fresh will also make its e-commerce debut on JCPenney’s website. The partnership will start with women’s apparel, but could soon include a broader offering, including beauty, accessories, footwear and men’s apparel. Says Mimran: “It’s about balancing a mature business in Canada with a start-up in the US.”
eBay’s New Deal
eBay and Chinese online retailer Xiu.com on Monday officially unveiled their new fashion e-commerce Web site, eBay Style, at a ceremony in the futuristic looking OCT Creative Exhibition Center.
The new site, ebay.xiu.com, is fully localized for Chinese fashion consumers. EBay is bringing in more than 5,000 brands in apparel, handbags,shoes, watches, health and beauty products and other lifestyle categories while Xiu.com handles shipping, customer service and returns. The companies declined to provide financial details of the partnership. eBay said it partnered with Xiu.com after finding more and more Chinese users on its English-language website.
Loewe Snags a Cruz
Penélope Cruz has landed a new role: as the face of Spanish leather goods firm Loewe. The “Vicky Christina Barcelona” star has signed a three-year deal with the Madrid-based house, founded in 1846 and owned since 1996 by French luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. It kicks off with her appearance in the spring 2013 advertising campaign, to be shot soon by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and break in international magazines in January.
“Penelope is Spain’s most famous woman. For us to collaborate feels right and natural,” said Stuart Vevers, Loewe’s British-born creative director.
- Taneisha Jordan
Sources: Business of Fashion; WWD