As you may have seen in this past Sunday’s ad, J.C. Penney has a new look — and I think it’s a good one. The retailer has completely transformed itself, changing its logo, its spokesperson and its pricing structure.
The company’s ad and store designs are clean and simple now, and their pricing and return policies are following suit.
The new pricing strategy, dubbed Fair and Square, includes three types of prices: best prices, month-long values and everyday.
Best prices are Penney’s lowest prices, which can be found on the first and third Fridays of each month. That means no more sales and coupons each week, just a simple sale schedule.
Month-long values are prices that are lower than the original sales price all month, but may not be as low as the best prices.
Everyday prices are the original sales prices of their products, which since the redesign are lower than their original prices before.
These prices are also color-coded. Prices highlighted in blue represent best prices, white represent month-long values and red represent everyday prices.
One example of the pricing structure can be found on the store’s website, which compares the prices of a St. John’s Bay women’s shirt. In 2011, the shirt’s original price was $11. In the new pricing system, the shirt’s everyday price is $7, the month-long value is $5 and the best price is $4.
The store is also revamping its return policy. The new policy has no restrictions and appears to be very similar to the retailer Kohl’s. Penney now accepts items purchased more than 90 days ago, small electronics, fine jewelry (including special and personalized orders), special occasion dresses, furniture, gift registry items, made-to-measure window coverings, jcp.com items, salon merchandise, Sephora products and perishable food items.
With a receipt you’ll receive an even exchange or full refund of the purchase price in the original form of payment. With a gift receipt you’ll receive an even exchange or refund at the gift receipt price in the form of a Penney gift card. Without a receipt you’ll receive an even exchange or refund at the current retail price in the form of a gift card.
None of these return scenarios have time limits.
You’ll also see a new face representing the company — Ellen DeGeneres.
DeGeneres has been quoted saying that working at Penney was one of her first jobs, and jokes that she’s happy to have her employee discount again. The new partnership is another part of the effort to usher in a new era for the retailer, which turns 110 this year.
In a press release, Michael Francis, president of J.C. Penney Co., said the company chose DeGeneres because of her “great warmth” and “down-to-earth attitude.” She also has millions of fans.
Looking at the new ads for the retailer, that down-to-earth, fun and vibrant attitude is equally represented in print.
What do you think of the J.C. Penney transformation? Are you more or less likely to shop at the retailer?
Here are some photos from a recent trip I took to the Valley View location: