JCPenny’s Re-Branding

English: JCPenney store at the Holiday Village...

English: JCPenney store at the Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, Montana, taken March 4, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mom and I, while not dedicated to a store’s brand, like to frequent JCPenny’s, especially the ones in the bigger cities that have more variety. When we went in a month ago, we noticed that the whole store had revamped itself. Door buster signs were gone and replaced with simple squares, a floor I couldn’t see before was now visible with the open space, and the suits for women that covered the corner have disappeared.

So what’s up with the change?

If we look at just what’s printed in their ads, their booklets and the store itself, I would have to say it looks like the company is trying to elevate their brand from just a department store to something more chic and hip. One of the things I noticed that goes along with that idea was that the t-shirts in the men section don’t take up as much of the hangar space and most have been relegated to table viewing. There were also a lot of mannequins that featured the clothes styled tastefully together in each section.

Let’s also look at the logo as well. The logo is pretty much a square with the name JCP, a very simple design yet still modern enough to fit in with the store’s new image of being chic. As to why they would use a square, I would reckon it’s because it’s such a simple shape and it can’t be screwed up. Also, shortening the name to JCP fits in with out texting culture.

Does all of this work? Judging by who shops at my local JCPenny’s, it seems like the company may be way off in their target market. Most of the shoppers I see tend to be in their forties and up and are mostly women. If there were younger customers, they were usually with someone older, most likely their parents. But their branding seems to be focused on people in their twenties, the kind of people who frequent fashion blogs and use Pinterest to post their favorite brands. I think that while it’s fine to try and get the Millennial crowd, if you ignore the core customer base, you’ll end up alienating them. It’s too early to tell how this new branding will work so I’ll just wait and see if Millennials will start posting their purchases from JCP on their Facebook.



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