JCPenney Will Do Anything To Get Shoppers In Its Doors, Including Offer Free Kids' Haircuts

JCPenney is not going down without a fight, and now it’s arming itself with scissors. Not to stab at anyone but rather to snip kids’ coifs for free starting in November. The new promotion announced today offers customers free cuts for kindergarteners through sixth grade every Sunday.

CEO Ron Johnson said JCPEnney had such a good time with the 1.6 million free back-to-school haircuts it gave out in August, calling the promotion’s results “far bigger than I expected.”

We’ve reported on JCPenney’s various other tactics to fight off competition from other retailers, from ending all sales (a decision which it reversed later) to a redesigned logo, mini shops branded by particular designers within its stores and the hiring of sassy spokeswoman Ellen DeGeneres. Aaaand then there’s the unfortunate way it bungles even the simplest things.

The impetus for the extended deal is clear — If parents end up inside JCPenney lured in by a free cut, maybe just maybe they’ll buy something else. Keep those fingers crossed, JCPenney. Maybe one of these schemes will actually pan out in your favor.

J.C. Penney offers kids free haircuts [CNNMoney]

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  1. Vermont2US says:

    I actually LIKE jcpenney. I hope they succeed – they’re the best retailer in my (rural) area, with decent clothes at decent prices.

  2. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    …sassy spokeswoman Ellen DeGeneres

    My new government-mandated browser plugin, PC SafeSpeak, tells me this should be spokesperson, although I have my doubts on both counts.

  3. Hoss says:

    Exactly who did they hire for one day a week? Are these people that flunked the Supercuts background checks/

    • Vermont2US says:

      At my local jcpenney, it is their usual stylists on duty.

      P.S. my sarcasm radar is on the blink.

    • Murph1908 says:

      I wondered where they got the stylists, too.

      Wonder if many are lured by the guaranteed money for the worktime, instead of the risk of sitting around for hours with no customers at their normal spot.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Nah, they just bought a few Flowbees and gave the janitors some overtime.

    • SpiffWilkie says:

      Not sure if they got additional help or not, but my wife took our 3 girls in last month for free haircuts. WORST. CUTS. EVER. Really, the cuts were awful. Not just the style but the quality. One daughter ended up with a bowl cut, and my other two’s hair was completely uneven. It looked like the three year-old took scissors to herself. Our free cuts cost us when we had to take all three to another stylist.

    • s3an says:

      Convicts on a work release program.

  4. Mr Grey says:

    Free hair cuts so moms will do a little shopping – worked on my wife – my son a free haircut – it was a good haircut (gave a nice tip to stylist), and a new hoodie for school.

  5. bnceo says:

    The JCPenny Styling Salon back in the 90s (at least in NJ) was very stylish and fancy. I think as Walmart and their local salons started to gain momentum and the economy started to tank, they have gone to lesser quality hair dresses.

  6. naenae78 says:

    I like jcp too. I’ve been going there pretty regularly for the last few months and have found that the redesign in stores is actually pretty nice. They also have kept clearancing items, contrary to what they said. I’ve gotten quite a few articles of clothing for $10 or less there.

  7. jeepguy57 says:

    Call me a skeptic, but I imagine many people taking advantage of a free haircut aren’t the type of people that will spend money there.

    • jeb says:

      There’ll be some like that, but it’s obviously geared towards parents, which tend to have less free time than the average person. A free haircut may make them decide to go to JCPenney over Walmart (which also has in-house salons, but cost money), and they’ll pick up some clothing along the way.

    • Caddyshack says:

      Any money saved on a haircut can be used for clothing. Many parents will go for this.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      Oh, like you?

  8. 4Real says:

    I dont like their new store pricing.. There is no Clearance section anymore.. and they raised the price on most things.. I rather shop at H&M it cheaper.

  9. longfeltwant says:

    JCPenny is one of two stores for which “big and tall” doesn’t mean “for fat people”. Although I concede that the term is “Big And Tall” not “Big And/Or Tall”, it doesn’t make it any easier to find clothes for my body, which is “Tall, Not Big”.

    If I put on five hundred pounds (to my already two-hundred pound frame), I could easily shop at any Big And Tall store, where typical sizes start at XXL-tall and range up to 7XL-tall (or bigger, for Humty Dumpty presumably). But alas, my size is L-tall, no eXXtras required, and any bigger around means the clothes don’t fit.

    Thus, I shop at JCPenny and at Eddie Bauer. But between those stores, I prefer EB. The prices are often downright shocking (seventy dollars for a shirt? wtf?) but the availability of LT-size clothes is more consistent. At JCPenny, I just have to dig around the Big And Tall section for a while hoping to find a few LT-size items, then hope one or two of those items isn’t ugly.

  10. PragmaticGuy says:

    My wife used to shop there all the time but even though they lowered the prices she feels that she’s not getting the specials anymore. They even sent her a $15 gift card for her birthday because she’s a rewards member and she forgot to use it before it expired. Unfortunately Penney’s is just not her place to go anymore.

    • Caddyshack says:

      I go to JC and get great deals on clothes. This April I found inner-lined plaid winter shirts for $5.00 each which were priced at $60 each last Christmas. I found a nice casual shirt for $2.00 up to $10. A new line of summer PGA golf shirts for $20 each. You can’t touch these prices anywhere else on the same line of clothing for the quality. Last weekend I got a new pair of black sketchers for $30.00. Anywhere else I pay $50 and up for this particular style.

  11. Caddyshack says:

    From the picture I thought the kid was getting a shot of botox.

    • Nashville TN says:

      That is So funny!!!!! I thought the exact same thing…so relived when I read it was a haircut ( from the looks of it a BAD one at that)

  12. Charmander says:

    They don’t have to do anything to get me to shop there. I just spent a pile of money for both my kid’s back-to-school clothes as well as a new bedding set for my son.

    I like their clothes, and I like their prices.

  13. TheTaoOfMeow says:

    I LIKE JCPenney too. Like their apparel, their home goods, their salon, even their employees — when I can find one to help me, that is. >_<

    What I DON'T like is that Mr. Johnson decided to eliminate ALL commission positions from his stores — including the salon — and put everyone on a flat rate. Of course, this resulted in a significant pay cut across the board, and a mass exodus of their best (read: most experienced) stylists from the store I frequent. (My stylist, a woman whom I've been going to on a regular basis for more than 10 years, decided to quit at the end of this month rather than stick it out.)

    The situation is so dire there now that if it weren't for the lure of free haircuts, I doubt they'd have any business at all. Sad.

  14. EE2000 says:

    I really like JC Penny, in fact I got my anodized pot and pan set from them. I also like how there is a mini Spehora in the store too. While they might not have sales they do have clearance racks, well the one I go to does and they might not always be there so it’s not something to count on and all other disclaimers. So the free haircut wouldn’t get me in the door even if I had a kid, I already shop there.

  15. kataisa says:

    JCPenney Will Do Anything To Get Shoppers In Its Doors, Including Offer Free Kids Haircuts

    At least it’s not flu shots….

  16. jaya9581 says:

    I had my hair cut at JC Penney last year. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing I’m sure other women can sympathize with, I was literally at my wit’s end with the long hair and wanted it cut RIGHT THEN. None of the “nicer” salons in my area had any walk-in availability, and since I didn’t want anything fancy and JC Penney could take me right then I figured why not.

    It was clean and bright. The stylist was polite and pleasant. I had my hair washed and cut for a reasonable price. It came out beautifully.

    It doesn’t matter where you go for a haircut – I’ve had my hair done at places that charged well over $50 for a simple cut with no extras and had it come out horribly. Bottom line, if you don’t like it, ask the stylist (or a different one) to do it over. Everywhere I’ve ever gone will do that for free.

  17. Press1forDialTone says:

    Very clever idea! It gets a big piece of the target demographic into the store
    to see the changes. JC Penney and Sears and Kmart and Macy’s are too much a part
    of our American history to fail. So there! No more Woolworths, Grants, Kresge (yeah I
    know it’s Kmart now). That’s how we should think of our retail heritage.
    Countdown to haters of my comment….in 3, 2 1….GO.

  18. Libertas1 says:

    You got a thlee kind of harcut: Moe, Moe, and Moe.