Photo: Screengrab from JCPenney.com
JCPenney’s salon business has finally provided a solid nugget of good news for the embattled department store chain, reports Maria Halkias at the Dallas Morning News.It has been giving away free haircuts to elementary school kids as part of a promotion, and now, JCPenney has reached its one-millionth free haircut for new and existing customers.
And it did it with 10 days left in the back-to-school promotion, it can be considered a success, even though JCPenney isn’t revealing the exact impact on sales.
At the very least, JCPenney drove traffic to its stores, and even if they didn’t buy anything, it exposed them to the brand. It also pumped up awareness for its salon business, which is the biggest single-branded salon chain in the country.
Despite the small win, the promo is unlikely to have any long-term impact.
“Free haircuts are a clear short-term benefit to parents that may boost traffic in the short run, but they are unlikely to have any lasting benefit to JCP,” writes Ira Kalb from the Marshall School of Business at USC.
“Moreover, this offer is fraught with problems related to people having to wait in line, being unhappy with the haircut (those that get “things” for free are often the most demanding and easily disappointed), and the costs to JCP without any clear benefit to the bottom line.”
Still, at least it’s one nugget of good news from JCPenney. It needs more of these right now.
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