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JCPenney takes fourth place: 2009 Mobile Retailer of the Year

January 12, 2010

Retail giant J. C. Penney Company Inc.  took fourth place in the competition for the 2009 Mobile Retailer of the Year award.

There were many worthy nominations, but after careful consideration Mobile Commerce Daily feels that this brand did an outstanding job in its mobile efforts. Here is a breakdown of JCPenney’s work in the mobile space in 2009.

Happy holidays
JCPenney had a holiday-themed mobile Web site to promote its post-Thanksgiving and post-Christmas sales last year.

The WAP site at let customers to browse the company’s gift assortment, find a local store and register for a wake-up call from JCPenney for early risers attending JCPenney’s big Day After Thanksgiving and Day After Christmas sales.

Consumers could opt-in for future mobile alerts from the brand, as well as choose to save and send gift hints to friends and family of items they viewed from the gift assortment.

Customers had the option of choosing a wake-up call on Black Friday from one of JCPenney’s partners, including Cindy Crawford (style expert for JCPenney’s Cindy Crawford Style brand), Kimora Lee Simmons (designer for JCPenney’s Fabulosity brand) or Rascal Flatts band members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney (whose recent “Rascal Flatts American Living Unstoppable Tour” presented by JCPenney promoted the company’s American Living brand).

jcpCustomers were able to sign up for the wake-up calls at or via the mobile Web site at, which is powered by ad agency Ipsh.

2D bar code coupon program
JCPenney is letting shoppers ring up savings at the register using their mobile phones with a 2D bar code coupon program.

Customers can download and carry coupons on their mobile phones that can be scanned directly from the phone’s display screen at the point of sale.

The retail giant tapped Cellfire for the initiative, which claims it is a first-of-its-kind program for a U.S. retailer.

New imaging scanners from Motorola capable of reading these 2D bar-code coupons have been deployed at point-of-sale registers in 16 JCPenney stores in the Houston metro area.

JCPenney mobile coupons

JCPenney makes coupons available in multiple venues, including newspaper circulars, postcard mailers if consumers are in its database, email communication as part of its regular cadence and now mobile.

The application
The retailer has an application for Apple’s iPhone, putting style, quality and price right at the fingertips of consumers.

The JCPenney Weekly Deals application lets users browse a select group of store-advertised sale items that are featured in the latest weekend sales circular.

Additionally, consumers can create a portable shopping list within the application by saving items as favorites.

Multichannel promos
Levi Strauss & Co. and JCPenney added mobile components to their national “Tuition” campaign to drive consumer participation.

JCPenney mobile commerce app

Levi’s and JCPenney teamed up with the Today Show iPhone application, which was built by Zumobi. Ads within the application encourage consumers to click to enter to win one of two $50,000 college scholarships.

The Schooled in Style: Smart Looks for Less multichannel campaign for the 2009 back-to-school season included a mobile component. 

The campaign combined mobile, digital, social and traditional media such as events.

The mobile aspect let teens sign-up to receive text messages on their mobile phones about back-to-school sales and special offers at JCPenney.

JCPenney and Levi's Tuition program

Back-to-school campaign

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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