USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Back in fashion

J.C. Penney resurrects its catalog

A 1980 J.C. Penney catalog. Photo: CBS Marketwatch

Mailboxes across the country will soon get a surprise from the past — a J.C. Penney catalog.

The retailer will ship a catalog featuring home goods to select customers in March, the Associated Press reported last week. Unlike the 1,000-page “big books” from years past, the new catalog will have about 120 pages.

J.C. Penney discontinued its catalogs a few years ago to cut costs. The company expected customers would simply go online to shop, but it didn’t turn out that way.

“We lost a lot of customers,” CEO Mike Ullman told The Wall Street Journal.

The company learned many online shoppers had used the catalog to research products before making purchases. Recent surveys show print mailings drive online sales.

“J.C. Penney is making a big statement,” retail analyst Bruce Cohen told The New York Times.

“It’s a pronouncement in favor of what all retailers are recognizing — that there are moments when people want to slow down, and there’s still an important place for the catalog.”

Post-story highlights