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JCPenney tunes in to teens


NEW YORK Though the department store chain has seen sales slide in recent months, JCPenney has launched an aggressive marketing campaign that includes a dedicated Web site and social networking in the hopes of boosting sales among teens this back-to-school season.

The site,, is embedded within the JCPenney e-commerce site and is a consolidation of the company's microsites for such brands as Decree and Arizona. Teens can also use the site to sign up for text alerts on the latest sales.

JCPenney's marketing push includes expanding its presence on social networking sites, such as Facebook where the retailer has a strong presence with more than 16,000 fans. The company will also showcase ads on popular teen networks, including MTV, Fuse and ABC Family. In addition, the retailer will host an exclusive concert series with live performances by the band Hockey taking place during the month of August in Los Angeles, Dallas and New York. Teens will have an opportunity to win tickets through an online scavenger hunt accessible through and via JCPenney’s mobile WAP site at, as well as through local market radio promotions.

“JCPenney’s merchandise offering for this year’s back-to-school season is better than ever and our ‘Schooled in Style’ campaign brings it to life in fun, interactive ways for our teen customers,” said Mike Boylson, chief marketing officer for JCPenney. “Capitalizing on our strong track record of leveraging digital and social media to communicate our value offering, the new campaign includes elements such as television and cinema ads with music from the up-and-coming band Hockey, a dedicated site – – and a customized teen Facebook page with a wide array of interactive and mobile features, concerts, promotions and much more. Together these elements showcase the diverse and fashion-forward assortment of brands we offer and make it clear to customers that even as we’ve stepped up our style, they can continue to rely on JCPenney for great quality and affordability.”

Considering how much JCPenney is doing to attract teens, it seems to be forgetting the fact that many rely on their parents for cash, and even the most clever campaigns may not convince mom and dad to open their wallets.

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