J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) will resume mailing catalogs after five years of doing away with it as a means of boosting sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. The new catalogs will be sent to select customers this coming March, with 120 print pages detailing items from the store’s home department.
The last time that J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) mailed out its catalogs was way back in 2009. Under former CEO Ron Johnson, the catalogs were abolished to give way for realigning focus in web based sales. Penney, however, suffered a decline in sales, as much as 28.4 percent, and the store posted a net loss of $552 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
According to CEO Myron Ullman, who rejoined J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) as CEO after Johnson has been relieved of the post, the decision to bring back the catalogs is backed up by data indicating that online shoppers are moved to buy by what they see in print media. Wall Street Journal cited a study by Kurt Salmon, a retailing consultancy firm, which found out that although 44 percent of buyers don’t want to receive catalogs through the mail, 31 percent of them actually consult catalogs when shopping online.
Studies also suggest that there is a growing trend among shoppers to browse online for items they want to buy first, before actually going to a brick-and-mortar store to purchase the item. This trend, called “webrooming”, is the popular way to go shopping, according to surveys of consulting firms Deloitte and Accenture, whose findings was reported by The Boston Globe. Previously, the trend was “showrooming”. According to Time, internet retailer Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN) offered special discounts to shoppers back in December 0f 2011, encouraging them to take a look at items they want to buy at brick-and-mortar stores, before purchasing the same items for a lower price at Amazon. Nowadays, however, consumers don’t always assume that online retailers offer the lowest deals.
J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP)’s new catalog, mainly featuring its home goods, takes note of the fact that its home department drives as much as 40 percent of online sales, and it also takes into account the Kurt Salmon findings of online shoppers referring to catalogs first. Through the catalogs, the company is hoping to gain its former customers back.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.