In an effort to refresh their image, retail giant JC Penney has launched a completely new look in their stores, online and now in their catalogs. But the new catalog might confuse you. It confused me when I got it yesterday.

I opened my mailbox and found a very slick looking catalog in there. I thought it was from Urban Outfitters or another high-end retailer because it was high quality - almost like a book. The typical JC Penney catalogs you get have been flimsy and more like a magazine. I saw the JCP logo and thought "wow, this is different."

I have ordered from the JCP catalog for years. Mostly because I can't find sizes that fit me in stores. I'm a tall guy, I have to special order most of my pants and all of my long sleeve shirts just to get the length that will fit me in the legs and the arms. Finding items for me inside the old catalogs have been easy enough, flip to the men's section, find the shirt you like, place the order. It doesn't quite work that way in the new catalog.


We saw JCP go through changes here at Crossroads Center Mall when they redesigned their store with a sleeker look. Then we saw the TV campaign where they were promising no more sales - just low prices every day. That was an effort to bring the JCP brand more current and attract a younger buyer. For years Penney's has struggled with being known as the "old" store because our parents shopped there, heck most of our grandparents shopped there. Now the new generation isn't going into the store.

They have fashioned the new catalog in a way that forces you to look at each page. They are advertising jeans for everyone on the same page from women to kids to men. Gone are the listing of shirts being modeled by one guy and a lineup of the colors you can choose from of the same shirt. No more are the days of flipping to guys section and picking something out. Now we have to flip each page to be sure we didn't miss something.


To be perfectly honest, I hate it. I'm a busy guy, I need to be able to flip open the book, go right to what I'm looking for, pick it out, place the order and have it shipped right to me. Being forced to look at each and every page is not for me. Honestly, I don't care what the ladies can buy. I don't have kids and don't need to see their shoes. I just need to be able to order something that fits and do it quickly.

Now to some, this new design might be attractive. To this shopper, I'm thinking JCP just lost me as a customer in their catalog division. I might still go to the store or online, but I find the new catalog confusing and a waste of my time. This morning it found its way into the recycle bin.

If you have seen the new catalog, what do you think? Like it or hate it?