How JCPenney And Pinterest Are Trying To Update The Humble Shopping Mall

How JCPenney And Pinterest Are Trying To Update The Humble Shopping Mall

Using Pinterest, JCPenney is showcasing products and styles inside their mall-based stores

Anna Johansson
  • 27 may 2016

Ever since the online market exploded, customers have been flocking to online stores in droves, which naturally has hurt the shopping mall as we know it. It’s driven a number of stores out of business, and it threatens the health of thousands more. Retailers are taking big steps to ensure that the online market doesn’t throw them out of business as well. JCPenney has taken a unique approach to this effort by teaming up with the online social media platform Pinterest. In an effort to get more people to frequent their brick-and-mortar locations, the department store will begin hosting live Pinterest boards in malls all over the country.

These boards will be made to look like a digital Pinterest board, but in a larger scale on a physical screen propped up inside or near the store. They’ll measure 10 x 9 x 2 feet and will showcase everything from apparel, beauty, and hair inspiration.

The boards were initially used as a marketing ploy in preparation for Mother’s Day. The hope was that consumers would be drawn to the interesting boards inside the stores and use them to choose specialized products for their own mothers. They were only used in 10 malls as a test run, but are likely to crop up in other stores as time goes on.

The entire project is an extension of the company’s Get Your Penney’s Worth advertising campaign, and it’s expected to continue in the future. JCPenney has managed to perfectly marry digital and physical marketing through this campaign, which is something all brick-and-mortar retailers are working to master.

“This idea of every interaction with JCPenney is worth someone’s time, money and effort —the best way to create that value proposition is by giving her meaningful solutions with shopping experiences,” Sheeba Philip, VP of marketing strategy and communication for JCPenney told Advertising Age. “Pinterest is really a destination for our consumer, this modern American mom looking for head-to-toe looks.”

To make this campaign more of a success, the multi-billion dollar chain sought the help of dozens of bloggers to speak about the trends and styles offered in JCPenney’s stores. These bloggers wrote about and pinned their favorite styles on Pinterest, which were then used in the life-size Pinterest boards in the mall.

JCPenney is thrilled at the success of their campaign, and Pinterest is happy to be part of the publicity. Brad Spychalski, head of creative and brand strategy at Pinterest also told Advertising Age:

“Our unique Pinterest insights also uncovered that their target audience over-indexes on interests such as parenting and saving money, relative to average Pinners. By working closely with the JC Penney team and grounding the creative in Pinterest insights, we were able to create an integrated marketing campaign that helps JC Penney customers save time, energy and money, while also fueling Pinners with inspiring and helpful ideas.”

This partnership may serve as a standard to retail brands everywhere who are looking to integrate both digital and physical marketing into their advertising efforts, particularly in a mall setting. At this point in the game, marketers can hardly ignore either side of the spectrum. Those who don’t engage in digital marketing strategies will be ignored, and those who skip physical marketing will lose a high volume of conversions.

Traffic in malls and retail stores has been significantly lowered since the rise of the digital age, and brick-and-mortar marketers must learn to work with the digital if they want to stand out.

JCPenney | Pinterest

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