The J.C. Penney Company on Wednesday (Oct. 25) revealed a glimpse into its holiday marketing playbook, including a deluge of savings opportunities and giveaways, video ads, a social media “Penney Prepper” challenge, paid creator partnerships and more.
The retailer, which uses the brand name JCPenney in its marketing and promoting, unpacked its Q4 strategy at a virtual briefing hosted by CEO Marc Rosen and Chief Merchandising Officer Michelle Wlazlo. Focused on value, the seasonal push is one in every of the primary marketing efforts in support of JCPenney following the launch of a $1 billion turnaround plan in September, which incorporates a brand repositioning and accompanying “Make It Count” ad campaign centered on accessibility, loyalty and promoting positive change.
“We stand for making fashion truly accessible, making the shopping experience with us genuinely rewarding, an authentic commitment to our communities, and for doing for others what we would like for ourselves,” said Rosen in the course of the briefing. “This is very true as we approach the vacations.”
The recent repositioning hones a give attention to working families and making dollars stretch further, a message that comes through in recent “Make Your Holidays Count” video ads. A 60-second spot touts JCPenney’s 120-plus years of experience as a family-focused retailer. Featuring a various forged, the business boasts of the brand’s ability to make each gift special and “every hard-earned dollar count.” Other commercials include a 30-second spot, a 15-second Thanksgiving spot and a 15-second Christmas spot.
Informing the retailer’s seasonal approach this 12 months is its inaugural “Make it Count” Holiday Report, a survey commissioned by the retailer that analyzes U.S. consumer spending expectations. The report found that, while consumers still intend to spend in areas that generate a “warm, fuzzy feeling,” they feel pressure to make their dollars go further.
To promote savings, the retailer in November will roll out a “Penney Prepper Challenge” that puts consumers’ holiday hosting capabilities to the test by asking them to entertain guests for $300 or less. On social media, consumers can vote for the highest #PenneyPrepperChallenge displays and use the hashtag to search out inspiration. Actor Tia Mowry, who is thought for making festive at-home recipes, will share her hosting know-how and favorite picks from the challenge.
The Penney Prepper Challenge concept comes as consumers report that, despite rising costs, they don’t plan to chop costs on entertaining. Fifty-two percent of respondents stated that they plan to spend over $300 on holiday occasions in 2023, per the retailer’s report. In addition to Mowry, a forged of paid content creators will even support the JCPenney social blitz.
“We expect that the home based business goes to be really strong as they put money into that because we all know that they need to make that holiday party, that holiday dinner special for family and guests,” Rosen said.
Fostering an experience
The broader holiday strategy from J.C. Penney also includes various opportunities for consumers to save lots of each online and in stores outside of the standard Black Friday shopping period. First up is the retailer’s Black Friday Early Access sale, which shall be hosted from Nov. 3-5. The chain has also examined a swath of its hottest holiday items and plans to supply most of them at the identical price as last 12 months or lower, along with some products being priced at pre-inflation levels from 2019.
A budget-friendly shopping cushion could appeal to consumers who need to hold out for the most effective items and deals. Over half (51%) stated that they’re stressed about finding the proper gift, while 55% are prioritizing practical gifts that will be continuously used — and saying they’d prefer to receive the identical — the holiday report revealed.
“We are here to assist them so our customer doesn’t need to trade off Black Friday level pricing against getting the items once they need to shop or once they have money of their wallet,” Rosen said.
Come time for Black Friday, the chain’s stores will open their doors at 5 a.m. for shoppers and can offer various bonus savings opportunities and giveaways scattered throughout the day. The retailer can also be running several sales promotions outside of Black Friday. For rewards members, the retailer will offer additional perks, including an early preview of its full Black Friday ad on Nov. 1, together with exclusive offers, like the power to earn 25 bonus Rewards points for taking its Holiday Gift Finder quiz. The effort could help boost the department store chain’s loyalty program, a core focus of its turnaround plan.
A refreshed marketing angle goals to reignite business for J.C. Penney following a trying few years. The company in 2020 filed for bankruptcy, and was later acquired by two of its landlords, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management.
The company is using Q4 to streamline the purchasing journey. In response to consumer requests for a clearer value exchange, shoppers this 12 months can expect to see more declarative positioning and price points each in-store and online, Wlazlo said. The retailer is moreover striving to resolve consumer requests for a smoother in-person shopping experience.
“We’ve actually made more destinations in-store for larger gifting so that they can go in and have a more one-stop-shop and make it easier for them,” Wlazlo said.
New offerings are supposed to spark fresh ideas for holiday gifting, like recently launched items from the chain’s Martha Stewart collaboration and a Mesa Mia by chef Jenny Martinez collection, Wlazlo said. Fresh apparel can also be hitting the shelves, including an expanded line-up of offerings under a collaboration with Jason Bolden, amongst other fashion-forward finds meant to align with the needs of working families, Wlazlo detailed.
“What’s really vital is — and trust me, that is true, I’ve checked out quite a lot of these outfits — you possibly can put together a few of these outfits for under $100,” Wlazlo said. “You know what meaning for our families. That’s really incredible.”
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