Ron Johnson, JCPenny’s former CEO, wiped the 1200-plus-page catalog from America’s mailbox in 2009. But with new management and direction, their home catalog has been resurrected. 120 glorious pages feature affordable goodies to fill up living rooms, bedrooms and any other room in need of some decorative lovin’. Fewer pages, but Penny’s has its book-book back. I’ll take it. Spokeswomen Kate Coultas said according to their research customers, particularly shopping for home merchandise, still prefer to browse a traditional print piece. These customers, me included, want the ability to finger through the thin pages, making dog-ears, circling and flagging the wishes and wants, picturing the items in their home.
Ever since companies discovered digital marketing to reach their consumers, we’ve seen a rollercoaster-drop in catalogs reaching our mailboxes. No longer were the coffee tables and kitchen cupboards of America overflowing with catalog. Great for the environment! But on the other hand, I personally enjoyed Saturday morning couch lounging, marking things I “need.”
Recently, the Direct Marketing Association found the number of catalog mailed since 2013 rising for the first time since 2006. Some retailers have begun using catalog marketing for the first time. The catalog taps the consumer on the shoulder, ensuring they know it’s there with its fresh paper smell and glossy pictures. It sits patiently in the living room waiting for you to walk by and take a peek.
To further back up the beloved catalog, Kate Coultas of JCPenny, thinks that, “the internet has gotten so big that you can’t find anything on it. The Internet is a place for shopping quick and knowing the exact item you wish to purchase.” As a millennial I admit I do purchase the item online after looking at a catalog. But I like to touch the pages and see the item and picture it in my life before going online and clicking through an extensive product list.
JCPenny’s new strategy with their 120-page home catalog is to drive sales. After a few messy years brought on by poor management decisions, they need this. Depending on the market cooperation, Penny’s plans to present to America other niche-based product catalog plus experiment with frequency and versatility. Keep watch for JCPenny’s 2015 home catalog coming to America’s mailbox in March!