J.C. Penney Co. has launched an Internet strategy intended to provide customers with a broad range of detailed, updated information on everything from prices to promotions.
The initiative, called "Know Before You Go,'' is in the final stages of rollout and is to be completed by the end of 2007.
"We're increasingly learning that our shoppers are more frequently using the Internet before ever stepping foot in a store," said John Irvin, president of J.C. Penney Direct, which includes the Internet and catalogue divisions.
"We've done extensive research that shows that nearly 70 percent of customers are online for a purpose other than shopping, including viewing merchandise, comparing prices, finding sales and promotions and exploring fashion and shopping tips, etc.,'' he said. "A growing number of customers are demanding a more integrated, engaging and educational experience."
The proprietary program uses more powerful search and product technology designed to make it easier and more enticing to shop at jcp.com, Penney's $1.3 billion Internet business that includes more than 250,000 items. The Web site is updated hourly in an effort to provide the most accurate search information.
For example, online shoppers can link to the supply information for any Penney's store to check for local availability of an item by color and size. There is a Penney's store within 60 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population, according to the retailer's research. The chain, which has in excess of 1,000 units across the U.S., has embarked on a more than $3 billion development program to open 150 stores — mostly off-the-mall units in previously untapped or underserved markets.
The site is providing more detailed and focused product and fit information, such as color, size, brand, fabric composition and laundry requirements, as well as enhanced fashion photography. Other new or improved features include trend boxes, price comparison tools, sales and promotional information and gallery views that allow shoppers to see all the products in a search category at the same time, along with color alternatives and alternate product views.
The Internet initiative is part of a chainwide program to fine-tune Penney's multichannel marketing and merchandising outreach to consumers and encourage cross-channel shopping. Penney's has installed more than 35,000 point-of-sale cash register systems in all stores that link to its Web site.Irvin said that jcp.com traffic is growing by double digits, with fashion generating the highest amount of traffic and home producing the most sales.
"Not all who visit our Web site are transacting online e-commerce, but they are using the Internet to make a well-thought-out and educated choice of where to shop at a store," Irvin said. "We have always said that we want to be the driveway decision when a consumer chooses where to shop — now our shoppers are choosing their retail shopping itineraries on their home computer."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast