J.C. Penney bucks a retailer advertising trend this holiday season

by Zak Stambor, Internet Retailer

J.C. Penney spent 5% more on TV, radio, newspaper and digital display ads from Nov. 21-Dec. 11 than it did a year earlier, making it the only large retailer that increased its ad spending. Even Amazon decreased its spending 1%.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc., No. 33 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, isn’t following the crowd this holiday season.

The multichannel retailer, which has been heavily pushing omnichannel initiatives like in-store pickup for online orders, boosted its ad spending 5% from Nov. 21-Dec.11, making it the only large retailer evaluated by Kantar Media that increased its spending across TV, radio, newspaper and digital display ads. Overall, the 11 retailers Kantar Media tracked spent $1.076 billion on those ads during that period, 13% less than they spent a year earlier.

Here are the 11 retailers Kantar Media tracked, with their Nov. 21-Dec. 11 spending and year over year percentage change:

J.C. Penney’s approach appears to be its attempt to build on gains it made last year, when it grew its comparable-store sales 4.1% in the fourth quarter and its online sales “hit a new high,” while competitors such as Macy’s Inc. (No. 6 in the Top 500), experienced a decline in comparable-store sales (J.C. Penney did not immediately respond to Internet Retailer’s request for comment).

“With its competitors pulling back on spend, J.C. Penney is taking the opportunity to stand out from the clutter,” Kantar Media says in its latest report. “The retailer has used dedicated Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns to hammer home the ‘on sale’ message theme, letting consumers know that it is the retail destination for the best deals and biggest sales.”

Following Thanksgiving weekend, the retailer shifted its messaging to focus on its price-match offers on TV and its digital display ads on specific brands, such as Dockers and IZOD, Kantar Media notes.

While Kantar Media’s total spending figures don’t include paid search, J.C. Penney has also been aggressively spending online. For instance, J.C. Penney ranked third in desktop text ad click share, with 4.3% of paid search clicks among 2,500 top retail product keywords, behind only Amazon and Macy’s, which accounted for 8.2% and 5.8% of clicks, respectively, according to AdGooroo data.

Read the full article from Internet Retailer


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