Voice of the Industry
J.C. Penney to Quit Catalogs
By Adam Dewitz
Published: September 27, 2010
J.C. Penney continues its shift to electronic media with plans to quit its traditional catalog business in favor of e-commerce and retail store sales. This announcement comes the company discontinued its “Big Book” catalogs last Fall.
The Dallas Morning News reports that J.C. Penney has notified suppliers that it will stop publishing its remaining dozen specialty catalogs next year.
J.C. Penney recently reported in its 2nd Quarterly Earnings (PDF) that dropping the “Big Book” hurt sales more than the company expected, “Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 0.9 percent over last year while total sales were about flat, decreasing 0.1 percent, when compared to last year’s second quarter. Total sales for the quarter were negatively impacted by approximately 160 basis points due to the discontinuation of the Company’s Big Book catalogs this year.”
J.C. Penney will continue to use print to drive customers to its online store with category-targeted “Look Books” which contain less merchandise and have no item numbers or pricing details.
Chairman and CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman told investors at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference, "We're not getting out of the print business. ... We're transitioning from the catalog, which is essentially a static vehicle."