Loyalty & Rewards

J.C. Penney Enhances Customer Benefits In Loyalty Program

J.C. Penney is launching a new loyalty program that allows points to roll over from month to month and gives cosmetics brand Sephora customers the chance to double-dip on rewards.

According to Dallas News, the program — which launches this week — is accompanied by an upgraded mobile app that tracks rewards and matches some of the program features of J.C. Penney’s most direct competitor, Kohl’s.

The company has been working to revamp its loyalty program for more than a year after a rough patch of store closings and decreased sales. Its plan to recover included putting J.C. Penney in the kitchen and laundry appliance business and increasing the number of Sephora locations inside J.C. Penney stores to almost 650.

The department store chain also studied the hospitality and travel industries as well as its retail peers, and asked customers to rank features that were most important to them, said Sherina Smith, vice president of loyalty and customer relationship management.

“Customers didn’t like having a limit on how many $10 rewards they [could] earn, or that points expired,” Smith said. “That’s not a way to drive loyalty.”

In response, J.C. Penney lifted the cap on the number of $10 rewards shoppers can earn in a month, and those rewards are now valid for 60 days. Members-only prices and shopping events have also been added to save shoppers money and enable them to earn rewards faster.

The company’s research shows that J.C. Penney’s rewards customers shop and spend more than twice as much as other customers, accounting for 66 percent of J.C. Penney’s sales.

Another major company goal is to increase the number of J.C. Penney credit card holders, currently about 40 percent of its customers. In the new program, J.C. Penney credit card purchases earn twice the points of other types of payments.

According to Smith, J.C. Penney’s revamped rewards “are designed to get people to come back more often and get discounts on what they want.”

The retailer is also rebuilding its salon business under a co-branding agreement with InStyle Magazine and has put new management over women’s apparel.

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