In a daring advertising move, JC Penney admits: we screwed up

In a daring advertising move, JC Penney admits: we screwed up May 1, 2013


JCPenney lost nearly a third of its customers in 2012.

Now, in an unprecedented move, the company is admitting it totally screwed up.

JCPenney’s latest ad acknowledges the missteps the company has made in the past year.

“It’s no secret. Recently JCPenney changed,” the company says in the new ad uploaded to its YouTube channel. “Some changes you liked, and some you didn’t. But what matters with mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing: to listen to you. To hear what you need to make your life more beautiful.”

Failed CEORon Johnson‘s plan included ditching the company’s popular promotions program.

Ideally, the strategy was meant to revamp JCPenney’s image and appeal to young people. In reality, it alienated long-time customers, while failing to draw in new ones.

Holiday sales dropped 32 percent, one of the worst declines in retail history.

Instead of admitting that he had been wrong about the coupons issue when sales started to decline, Johnson stuck to his strategy. When he did implement promotions, the terms were often confusing.

He left the company last month and was replaced by his predecessor, Mike Ullman.

The ad also begs customers to return to the store.

“Come back to J.C. Penney. We heard you. Now, we’d love to see you,” it says.

The company has suffered numerous setbacks over the last few years — and launching a gay-friendly ad campaign last year didn’t help.

Watch the new ad below.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!