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A longtime JCPenney customer, who wishes to have her name withheld, shared with us a letter she recently sent to JCPenney CEO and former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson about what he’s doing to the struggling retailer.It’s an interesting look at how consumers respond to changes in a company. Loyal customers like her have become emotionally invested in the retailer over time, which often happens with brands.
This is usually a great thing for brands, but if you do something wrong — something that, it can backfire in a hurry.
In the letter, she explains that her trust in the company has been “shatter[ed].”
She feels betrayed.
Here’s her description of how she feels. From the letter:
“Think of the way most women have a best friend. For many of us, our favourite department stores and brands are like best friends. We rely on them to offer what we need and provide support and interest in our lives. Large-scale drastic changes to stores and brands are akin to having a best friend become a completely different person and leave the friendship. This effect is compounded when a favourite retailer suddenly sends signals that you as a customer are no longer valued or wanted. Not only does it create discomfort, but it shatters trust and causes emotional pain.
… Your customers are not being treated “Fair and Square”. We are being treated as mindless idiots who can’t possibly understand your grand strategy. We see your new Personality and feel betrayed by it. We understand your Pricing, we just don’t like it. Your Promotion offends us and makes us feel like we no longer matter as customers. Your Products are becoming cheaply-made trends that don’t provide what we want and need. Your Presentation and Place create a clean-looking cold and shallow experience that drives shoppers away. And finally, your People are being replaced by cold uncaring technology or transient workers who could care less about the true customer experience. You’ve transformed the retail experience by destroying it.
As a Platinum-level J.C. Penney cardholder and customer since 1995, I am shocked and upset by what you have done to my former favourite store.”
Do you work at JCPenney? We want to hear what you have to say. Shoot an email to [email protected].
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