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Frank on JC Penney and its Catalog

Published on April 17, 2015

When JC Penney killed their catalog, Frank opined that was the beginning of the end of the retailer. Things did get bad and now they are bringing the catalog back.

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Discussion

By Dov Isaacs on Apr 17, 2015

Do you really mean “mail order catalog” or perhaps more likely in terms of today's reality, a mailed “web order catalog?” I doubt whether you will ever see a resurgence of customers physically mailing orders to such companies any more. Such catalogs, or maybe better characterized as seasonal or special interest product flyers, in addition to push marketing e-mail are really designed to drive customers to the company's website for ordering or to any local brick-and-mortar outlets. (Sending an order form by snail-mail to a vendor these days is often going to take more time to reach the vendor than the product will take to reach the customer via typical 2-day shipping!)

Similar observations to those about J.C. Penney can be readily made about Sears Roebuck. Their catalog, long discontinued, and the operation behind it was the equivalent of Amazon. Had Sears Roebuck's management been thinking a bit more out-of-the-(bounding)-box and looked at internet technology to augment and ultimately replace “mail order,” they could possibly have owned at least a major portion of what Amazon owns today.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Apr 17, 2015

While I think it's great for the printer - assuming it'll be a US printer - a "mail order catalog" or “web order catalog” or whatever as touch point or push effort to JC Penney's customers and prospects, IMHO, makes no economic or marketing sense. It seems a fall back position from a lack of marketing imagination. I think, after a very quick flip through, it'll be straight from the mailbox to the recycle box.

 

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