May 17, 2011

JCP Q1 - 2011 Sales

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.
  1. Penney will pull $30,000,000 of catalog marketing out of the ecosystem in 2011.
  2. Compared with Q1-2011, JCP total sales increased 0.4%.
  3. Compared with Q1-2011, JCP comp store sales increased 3.4%.  Comps increased, and yet, the big book strategy was killed. 
  4. This means that online + telephone demand had to decrease a bit.
No catalog, and sales increased, debunking the myth that you must have paper in the mail to drive retail sales.

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.


  1. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Kevin - great post and link, but it is hard to trace their increase in profit to the elimination of the catalog when reading this line:

    "Much of the improvement in first-quarter profit came from lower pension expenses. On an adjusted basis, which strips out the effect of that expense, net income fell to 33 cents per share from 40 cents."

  2. Yes, of course.

    My argument, of course, was about sales, sales increased. Pundits consistently tell us we have to have paper in the mail to increase sales. Here, paper was removed from the mail, and sales increased.

    Our industry wants so bad for the "story" to turn out well. We consistently poke holes at portions of an argument without stepping back to look at the whole.


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