I know you don't want to hear this.
Give this article a read --- Penney improves sales and profit in Q1 - 2011. Here's a few points for you to consider.
- Penney will pull $30,000,000 of catalog marketing out of the ecosystem in 2011.
- Compared with Q1-2011, JCP total sales increased 0.4%.
- Compared with Q1-2011, JCP comp store sales increased 3.4%. Comps increased, and yet, the big book strategy was killed.
- This means that online + telephone demand had to decrease a bit.
Also note the tasty tidbit about how expenses increased because of free shipping to online customers.
Your future --- catalog circulation reductions will be used to fund online free shipping. The trick, of course, will be to figure out how to drive traffic to a website without as much catalog marketing. Retailers do have an advantage, here, a big advantage.