I don't watch many commercials these days thanks to modern-day TV-watching conveniences, but last night I happened to catch a new JCPenney commercial that made my jaw absolutely drop. In the commercial, titled "It's No Secret," JCP apologizes to customers for the changes they've made in recent months and practically begs shoppers to come back. It made me feel uncomfortable to see such a big brand behave so desperately, but at the same time, I knew exactly what they were trying to accomplish. Poor JCP's sales have plummeted ever since they tried to offer customers everyday low prices while eliminating things like coupons and sales. As it turns out, shoppers are not rational. They don't want everyday low prices - they want deals! And so, JCP is changing course once again by raising prices and bringing back sales and coupons. Sounds crazy cakes, doesn't it? And yet that's how things have played out.
This quote from ScienceNews sums up the entire situation perfectly: "We see a $14 shirt, and conclude based on its price that it must be a low-quality garment made in a sweatshop somewhere by overworked, underpaid workers. On the other hand, seeing a red line through the $50 price tag on a shirt that's marked down to $14 indicates to us that the shirt is of high quality and that for $14, it is a steal."
I love a good deal, too, don't get me wrong, but at some point - maybe it was the early 2000s - I noticed that my $30 t-shirt from the Gap was just as lousy as my $6 t-shirt from Forever 21. So I stopped shopping at the Gap, waiting for sales, etc. and started shopping at Forever 21. I still get a kick out of seeing a red line tag or scouring the clearance racks at Target (I'm only human after all) but the rush isn't as big. My time is more important now-a-days, so I'd rather just be able to shop low prices all the time at JCP and not have to fuss with sales or coupons, be they mobile, printable or online. Apparently, I'm in the minority.
What do you think of JCP's new ad? Have you seen it? Will it woo you back? Were you rooting for the new JCP to succeed?
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