J C Penney Company Inc (JCP) Is Bringing Back Hefty Catalog To Help Online Sales

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J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) launched its catalog in 1963 and moved on to become one of the largest catalog retailers in the U.S. after Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) stopped publishing its catalog in 1993. J C Penney stopped sending out catalog in 2010 amid the boom in eCommerce. Now the department-store chain is bringing it back following the findings that many of its online sales came from shoppers inspired by what they saw in catalog.

J C Penney is planning to send out a 120-page catalog featuring products from its home department to select customers. Chief Executive Myron Ullman powered the bringing back of catalog as he is attempting to bring back the retailer to health under the new leadership.

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP)’s move to bring back catalog points at odd consumer behavior of browsing through low-tech artifacts even when they make most of their purchases online. Catalog mailings peaked at 19.6 billion in 2007, according to data compiled by the Direct Marketing Association. After hitting a bottom along the increasing popularity of online shopping, catalog mailings are growing once again and reached their highest in six years to 11.9 billion in 2013.

Contrary to recent announcement, it was Mr. Ullman who stopped publishing the catalog as he thought that catalog shoppers would migrate online. But over the time, J C Penney and Mr. Ullman have learned that even online sales are facilitated by catalog shoppers using the website to place their orders.

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP)’s new catalogs will feature home goods as the category accounts for 40% of online sales. In addition home goods have been among the top-selling items in the retailer’s catalogs. Starting March, the company would use target mailing approach to send new catalogs to its former home shoppers. The move may pay-off for J C Penney as nearly third of shoppers use catalog while making online purchases, according to Kurt Salmon.

Lisa Ray

Lisa Ray primarily covers Retail and Healthcare. Lisa Ray has completed her MBA (Finance) and an avid market tracker. She is a stock market analyst who closely tracks US markets along with other global markets like India. She has been expressing her views for years about markets and also advises various clients.

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