Monday, July 9, 2012

JC Penney Forgot to Call Me

I suppose it is only natural that as I grow older, there are fewer things that really impress me.   Heading into my forties, I can list my major obsessions on one hand:  Donny Osmond.  A good Broadway musical. Nutella. 

Yet no matter how jaded or weary I become, the thrill I get from bargain shopping remains.  The art of the deal is why I get out of bed in the morning.   It is my own Olympic sport requiring skill, practice, and a shrewd awareness of pricing history and market conditions.  There are magical buzzwords that leave me breathless with delight and anticipation:

Half-Off Coupons.
Free Shipping. 
The Clearance Rack. 

One of my all-time favorite stores is JC Penney.  My reasons are many.  As a super-tall woman, I love the fact that I can buy tall sweaters and shirts.  Not too many places bother selling tall tops, and this problem has often left me feeling like The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.  JC Penney also offers ULTRA tall jeans and pants which allow me to wear boots and heels with pants – a luxury I was forced to go without for the first 28 years of life.
And up until recently, JC Penney used to have the best coupons.  Several times a year, I would receive my $10 off anything $10 or more.  I would march into the store and get the boys some underwear.  Free underwear.  Four times a year.  It felt delicious.  Because nobody likes spending money on underwear.

So when a new JC Penney marketing guru put together a much-hyped and somewhat confusing new pricing plan which essentially ended coupons and sales events, I was shocked.  I mean, did the store have the slightest awareness of its base?  We were the coupon brigade!  We were the bargain shoppers of the world!  We were the ones who kept coming back because you gave us free underwear!

Once again, nobody asked a mom.  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: always ask a mom.  Heck, ask me.  I’ll tell you.  You just don’t take away a mom’s coupons.  You don’t take away the free underwear.  You don’t take away the one thrill we have in between doing laundry and driving the kids to practice.  YOU. DON'T. DO. THAT.  

So when the new marketing guru “left to pursue other endeavors” after a short eight months, moms were able to read between the lines.   Stocks had plummeted and our carpool heroes were left pouting, refusing to set foot in a store that didn’t take their feelings into consideration.  

But I still have hope.  JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson has announced that he will be helming the vacated marketing role.  Johnson is a former Target executive and also a Steve Jobs’ protégé.  Target is my happy place.  Steve Jobs is a hero.  I can’t help but think Mr. Johnson will get it. 

And if he doesn’t, I’ll be using my Kohls’ coupons to secure free underwear for the boys. 

Because at the end of the day, nobody should ever have to pay for underwear.


  1. Yes, yes and more yes! Coupon me! I don't like the new logo, but I do love me a clearance rack and a good sale.

    I haven't been able to comment on your last three posts. No idea why, but the google gods prevented me. So happy I can comment again!

  2. I totally have to agree with you; I don't know why they changed to the way they did; their reasoning did not make sense. I thought it was a "dumb" idea and apparently i wasn't the only one. We do like our coupons indeed!


  3. You are tall? I am jealous. And Mr. Johnson? If he's good, I say we all marry him. All of us. Every mom.

  4. I heard nothing after you said Donny Osmond. Hands off, wench, he's mine.

  5. itsadomelife - Sorry you haven't been able to comment! And life without coupons and clearance items really isn't a life at all.

    Betty - Seriously. Why don't they call me? I have a background in marketing. I could totally help. And maybe get some free tall clothes.

    Kirby - I'm a giant. And I would become a sister wife for Mr. Johnson.

    Tina - LOL!! But I hear from "his people" last year! We're practically on a first-name basis. I'll share. I promise.

  6. That new logo is awful. It looks like a road sign gone awry! "STOP" JCPenny approaching. Maybe that was their clever ploy. Rubbish :-)

  7. Yes - don't they realize most men make the money but it's most women what spend it!
    I was most upset the first time I filled out my first married with children census form years ago, that a stay at home mum became invisible by page two.

  8. hello Marianne! I had to check you out b/c we have the same name...spelled the same way! That's not very common. In cyberspace, I go by Mare though. We must be related somewhere...I'm tall, love Penney's and Kohl's and Nutella. And coupons! So nice to find you! I'm a new follower. Come visit me in my Ballpark! (just click my name)

  9. hahaha...that is a well put post. I hope you sent that to JCPenney's!!! :)

  10. I am wondering why I never got any of these amazing coupons and even if I did, I probably wouldn't have done the math. Great deals!

  11. I just bought underwear for one of the boys yesterday. I'm still a bit depressed.

  12. I love coupons too and think Kohls and Carsons are two of the best locally when it comes to using them to lure us in. Glad to hear that JC Penny seems to be getting back on the right track now. I have missed those spend $10, save $10 coupons and like you, pride myself on being able to walk in with one and leave with out spending much more than that coupon over the years. :)