Penney Taking Bigger Cut of B-T-S with Free ‘Do’ Offer
I never would have "re-imagined" in a hundred years that the offer of a free haircut for kids would actually get consumers to shop in a store they’ve rarely or never even considered visiting before. But, by the ghost of James Cash Penney, it appears I may have been wrong.
Although the evidence is largely anecdotal at this point, J.C. Penney’s ad campaign promoting free haircuts and its new "Shops" concept featuring back-to-school fashions from Levi’s, i jeans by Buffalo and The Original Arizona Jean Co. appears to be working.
According to The Joplin Globe, 160,000 free haircut appointments had been booked at Penney salons heading into last weekend. With 980 salons across the chain, that’s roughly 163 appointments per store. How many of those appointments are either new customers to Penney or returning shoppers who increase their spending will be the keys to evaluating the success or failure of the promotion.
Count Candace Garza among the consumers who like the free haircut offer. Ms. Garza, who has three young children, told the Odessa American that she learned of the promotion from her mother and proceeded to call family and friends in and out of state (Texas for her) to let them know about the deal.
"Words can’t even describe how great of a thing it is," she told the paper.
According to Deloitte’s 2012 Back-to-School Survey, television and word-of-mouth will have the biggest influence on what consumers purchase this year.
Fans of Motown and cute kids are almost certain to be drawn to Penney’s haircut spot while personal experience tells me that Ms. Garza’s experience is shared by others. On a trip to a local deli in this part of New Jersey last weekend, I overheard two women discussing the Penney free haircut deal and how they too had spread the word to family and friends. It’s no secret that word-of-mouth is a big deal in retail and maybe, just maybe, it’s a piece of good news for a chain that could certainly use some.
- jcpenney Unveils First Shops Just In Time For Back-To-School – J.C. Penney
- Get to Know Us – JCPenney Salon
- Wally Kennedy: JC Penney reinvents itself – The Joplin Globe
- JCPenney sweeps in customers with free haircuts – Odessa American
- 2012 Back-to-School Study – Deloitte
Discussion Questions: Do you think that the reaction to J.C. Penney’s free haircut offer is a sign that the chain is getting its business act together? What do you think Penney needs to do as an encore to build on the goodwill created with its back-to-school campaign?