Print Lives (at JCPenney)

JC PenneyJCPenney is bringing back its hefty (120-page) print catalog. After reviewing data from online sales, the company recognized that, although people bought online, they were inspired by print photos.

It's been six years of focusing on web marketing, but the Consumerist explains the turnaround: 

"The catalog has been revived by the executive who killed it off in the first place, chairman and CEO Myron Ullman. The company assumed that catalog shoppers would switch to making their purchases online, as they have at other retailers. That wasn't the case: Ullman says that the company discovered that many online sales actually began when the customer was flipping through a catalog offline."

The Consumerist compares JCPenney's strategy to Restoration Hardware's. I'm not on the mailing list, but apparently the company distributes a 17-pound catalog. 

Image source

Discussion Starters: 

  • What are the company's considerations in bringing back the catalog? Why do you think the management team discontinued it six years ago? 
  • How do you see print and online ordering working together? What's your own process for shopping on the web?