Martha Stewart designed home product will be available at JC Penney, as the designer and retailer won a court battle with Macy's over the right to sell the product (although it will be JCP branded - not labeled Martha Stewart). As the home shop rollout continues, an initiative which was spearheaded while Ron Johnson was CEO of the department store, Ron Ullman continues to reverse many of the initiatives put in place. According to WWD, and evident in-store:
- Shop roll-out has slowed, including Nicole by Nicole Miller. The Disney, Carters and Giggle shops for kids have been halted for the time-being, and those agreements may be renegotiated. The shop-in-shop concept is something that Ullman introduced at JCP long before Johnson's arrival and subsequent departure, to help increase the productivity of the sales floor.
- Many private brands, which have been downsized, are now being revived. This includes the more classic, traditional fits for both men and women - St John's Bay and Worthington. Tighter contemporary garments will be reduced as an assortment blend, and pleated pants are back in.
- One day sales, value deals, and steeper markdowns are making a comeback, while everyday low pricing is out. Although, according to JCP's fiscal 2012 results, everyday low pricing accounted for 80% of the company sales.
The next big season is BTS, or back-to-school. Promotions are expected to be a large part of the value offering which will drive traffic, even if their hands will be tied with certain non-promotional brands like Bodum and Jonathan Adler. BTS will be a "hybrid of what worked well in the past, obviously with coupons. Over the past year, we have learned that customers love coupons.", Daphne Avila, a JCP spokeswoman told WWD recently.
Although, even Johnson admitted that customer's like a "reference price" (translation: regular retail price to start with), we're still disappointed to see a blatant reversal on every major new initiative which could be impacted. The JCP turnaround is one we've been closely watching as they attempted to change the current department store model - and we're anxious to see the rest unfold.
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- JC Penney "tweaks" its turnaround strategy
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