JCPenney Launches Virtual Runway

Published on February 23, 2009 | Comments: 0
JCPenney customers who visit the e-commerce site will now be able to experience a “virtual runway” show. The virtual runway showcases spring styles from the company's selection of exclusive designer brands such as nicole by Nicole Miller, Bisou Bisou by Michele Bohbot, ALLEN B. by Allen B. Schwartz and I "Heart" Ronson by Charlotte Ronson. The virtual runway experience includes music and 360-degree views of models in "head-to-toe" looks from each collection. As part of the experience, customers can also use a "Meet Our Designers" feature that allows JCPenney designers to share information on their new collections and other personal thoughts through video vignettes. A JCPenney press release stated that customer research indicates shoppers were “seeking an online experience that would provide a real-world look at the fit and feel of clothing.” In the release, JCPenney Chief Marketing Officer Mike Boylston called the virtual runway an “innovative online experience.” JCPenney is promoting the new online service to customers with an email and direct mail marketing campaign. Innovation aside, it is interesting to note that just this past Friday, JCPenney announced disappointing returns for the quarter ending Jan. 31, 2009. Net income fell 51%, and total sales in the fourth quarter decreased 9.8% compared with last year, while comparable store sales decreased 10.8%. Comparable store sales for the first quarter were projected to decline 12-15%.

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