JCP Stock Lesson #2 – Customers Resist Change
Though Ron Johnson directed the ill-fated decision for JCP, it’s not as if JCPenney is the only corporation that assumed it could redefine how the shopping experience should feel for customers. Big mistake. Customers hate change, and rather than figure out the changes, they’ll simply go elsewhere to spend their money.
The changes JC Penney made were two-fold, but related. The first change was the near-elimination of themed sale events (and a subsequent cancellation of the mailed sale flyers that promoted them). The other change: Rather than in-store signage that noted the sale price on a particular item, JCPenney opted to advertise its goods at a never-changing “fair and square” price.
As it turns out, shoppers looked for the special — and short-lived — sale signs in the company’s stores, and customers liked to be told of sales events by promotional mailers.
Interestingly, although the value of JCP stock hasn’t been given a boost from it yet, the reinstitution of its more traditional marketing effort is already showing signs of life. Case in point? In November, JCPenney reported a 10% increase in same-store sales for only the second time in 23 months. It’s not much, but it’s a start, and verifies that old habits die hard … for better and worse.