When was the last time you read a catalog? Not glanced through the merchandise and scanned a price or two, but actually read the text? Ever?
That changed with the new JC Penney catalog. Pretty in pink on the outside, every page inside reestablishes JCP. There’s a well-worded introductory essay explaining that, rather than grow stale at 110 years old, JCP is going to “let in some fresh air.” Next comes a simple explanation of the retailer’s new pricing system. The rest of the book is filled with clever headlines and text, bold photos, sharp layouts – and stories. Real stories. Like the one about the couple who got married on Valentine’s Day in 1929 – 83 years ago. Or the guy who has visited all 50 states – and amassed a collection of photos beside state welcome signs. The stories sell the impression that JCP is the kind of place you’d like to shop. Fun. Different. Today.
No doubt, credit is due Penney’s new CEO Ron Johnson, who scored big directing the retail strategy for Apple stores. And more is to come. From the hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as Penney’s spokesperson to a massive store makeover, Johnson has plenty of ideas.
I’m eager to see them – and the next JCP catalog.
See the JCP Catalog here.