JCPenney Switching To Priceless Catalogs

When JCPenney killed off its traditional Big Book catalog last year, the result was a drop in sales on its website, says the retailer’s chairman. Based on that successful strategy–wait, what?–JCPenney says it’s killing off its remaining 12 specialty catalogs as well. Instead, it will start mailing out thinner “look books,” which will contain a subset of merchandise and no prices.

The company told the Dallas Morning News that printing prices in catalogs has made it difficult to compete against other retailers in pricing, so the look books will serve more as an overview of the type of merchandise available in an attempt to drive shoppers to the website or department store.

Penney has been sending out look books since last year, and the response has been good, sending consumers to the Internet or the store, Ullman said.

“We’re not getting out of the print business. … We’re transitioning from the catalog, which is essentially a static vehicle.”

“We’re a promotional department store, one of the top 20 advertisers in the United States.”

“J.C. Penney to quit catalogs but will keep sending ‘look books’ that refer shoppers to stores, website” [Dallas Morning News]