Love the one you’re with, and when that doesn’t work … try to make the one who was once with you fall back in love? That complex approach appears to be the marketing philosophy adopted by JCPenney’s new chief executive, Marc Rosen. Previous JCPenney leaders tried to bring in new customers—younger ones, hipper ones—with little success, while also losing the retailer’s regulars in the process. The company filed for bankruptcy just about two years ago—and when it emerged, with a new owner and a plan to cut debt and shutter stores, some experts remained skeptical about the company’s future. Where some see dim prospects though, Rosen sees opportunity in luring budget-conscious shoppers back to the 120-year-old retailer and keeping them there by expanding its assortments of the types of goods that these shoppers are interested in and seek out. To that end, JCPenney will be enhancing its digital presence, adding more beauty products in a wider range of skin tones, and expanding its roster of affordable home goods, clothes, kitchenware, skincare, and more. The project is not necessarily easy, thanks to inertia, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and more. But Rosen feels confident that the customers who loved JCPenney once will be back and ready to buy the full range of goods on offer. “The biggest difference this time is we are loving those who love us,” he explained. “We need to give them more opportunity to come back and find things they love.”

Source: Suzanne Kapner, “JCPenney’s CEO Is Done Chasing New Customers. ‘We Are Loving Those Who Love Us.’,” The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2022; Khristopher J. Brooks, “J.C. Penney Has New Owners in Bankruptcy Deal that Saves 60,000 Jobs,” CBS News, November 10, 2020; Chris Isidore, “As JCPenney Exits Bankruptcy, its Long-Term Outlook Remains Grim,” CNN Business, November 30, 2020