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Coupons returning to JCPenney? Company provides first promo code, paper coupon in months

Faithful JCPenney shoppers got a rude awakening in February 2012 when the company implemented a huge change to its marketing strategy. Instead of weekly sales and a variety of coupons and promo codes, JCPenney instituted what it called “fair and square pricing.” The basic idea was that shoppers would get the stores’ best prices all the time and wouldn’t have to wait for a sale.

The strategy appears to be an epic fail thus far, with news reports showing large drops in sales at retail stores and online. My recent visits to my local JCPenney store seem to confirm this, as the place looks like a ghost town. The sales and marketing disaster may have played a role in the resignation of the company’s president this summer.

It appears things may be changing at JCPenney. For the first time in months, I’ve seen a money-saving promo code for use on the company’s website. You can use code EXTRA30 to get 30 percent off clearance items, along with free shipping on orders over $50. Since February, the only coupon codes I’ve seen the company offer have been for free shipping when you spent a specified dollar amount online.

I also recently received a paper coupon in the mail from JCPenney. It offered me $10 in an attempt to woo me back into the store to view the company’s new in-store boutiques devoted to various brands, such as Izod and Liz Claiborne.

Were you a JCPenney shopper before the new marketing strategy? What do you think it will take for the company to get back on track?

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