J.C. Penney Looks for More Brand Appeal with New Loyalty Program

Venerable retailer J.C. Penney has encountered various hurdles in recent years that have impacted fiscal results and brand loyalty. But, today J.C. Penney officials embark on what they hope is the start of a new and prosperous chapter for the 115-year-old retailer.

Today, J.C. Penney unveiled its new JCPenney Rewards loyalty program.

J.C. Penney spokesperson Kate Coultas told Loyalty360 that the new program includes a new website at jcp.com/rewards.

“This is a new program in comparison to our 2015 program,” Coultas explained. “We spent 2016 testing, analyzing, and refining various pilot programs across the country to create the best loyalty program for our customers. As we focus on growing revenue per customer, our customer loyalty program will be integral to enticing customers to shop often and spend more on every trip.”

With the new JCPenney Rewards program, every time a customer earns 200 points, the customer will receive a $10 reward, valid for a minimum of 45 days. There is no cap on the number of $10 rewards customers can accrue in a month and any remaining points will continue to roll over each month, as long as the customer remains an active JCPenney shopper. The $10 rewards can be used on a future JCPenney purchase in store and online at jcpenney.com. 

What’s more, JCPenney credit card members are automatically enrolled in the program and will earn one point for every dollar they spend. JCPenney Reward members who use any other form of payment will earn 1 point for every $2 they spend.

“Customers receive an array of exclusive benefits as a JCPenney Rewards member,” Coultas said. “Members can expect special offers throughout the year, from member-only prices for select merchandise to limited Sephora inside JCPenney sample product offers, and even an extra coupon to use on their birthday. During bonus reward events, all members can receive $10 bonus rewards for every $50 spent up to $150.”

As JCPenney card members shop more frequently and spend more than 2.5 times as much as other customers, the company added more incentives for customers to become card members.

“Under the new JCPenney Rewards program, JCPenney credit card members will receive additional benefits such as exclusive coupons and invitation-only shopping events, including more than 150 exclusive card member savings days,” Coultas explained.

Meanwhile, Gold and Platinum card members receive extra benefits such as a passbook of coupons, which includes a “Pick Your Own Sale Day,” along with additional coupons and special offers. Platinum cardmembers also receive a special “thank you” offer, Sephora inside JCPenney bonus point events, and Platinum Appreciation sale days. Gold and Platinum card member status will now be determined by the customer’s annual spend, regardless of how many times a customer shops JCPenney or JCPenney.com throughout the year.

Loyalty program members can manage their JCPenney Rewards accounts in the newly redesigned JCPenney mobile app. To encourage JCPenney Reward members to take advantage of these new features on the app, members that download the JCPenney app for the first time between July 16 and Aug. 31 will receive a $10 reward.

Imagine Experience founder and CEO Bill McCoy told Loyalty360 that he’s confident that J.C. Penney understands its customers well and will profit from the new loyalty program.

“Listening to feedback and implementing changes that benefit the customer enhances the customer experience,” McCoy explained. “The result is a loyalty program that has a high level of engagement. When your customer feels appreciated and taken care of, they’ll go out of their way to be loyal to the brand. And that’s what big box retailers need to focus on to stand out from competitors and compete in the e-commerce environment. J.C. Penney knows its customer analytics and is implementing its findings to the loyalty program, and seeing positive results. Its competition should take note.”

Evan Magliocca, brand marketing manager for Baesman Insights & Marketing, told Loyalty360 that he’s not so sure J.C. Penney’s new loyalty program will do the trick as far as increased brand loyalty.

“J.C. Penney has a challenging road ahead in many respects, including loyalty,” Magliocca said. “It’s even more challenging if its roadmap for loyalty is to match Kohl’s offering and to ramp up locations and reliance on Sephora to boost sales. There’s no identity in any of those strategies. In fact, it’s relying on Sephora’s brand to transform their own.”

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