J.C. Penney shelves the Big Book
Distributing a huge catalog no longer makes sense in the Internet world.
J.C. Penney’s fall/winter Big Book is the last of its kind, as the once robust publication joins the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog in the big recycling bin in the sky.
- Bing: Vintage Sears catalogs
“The Internet has made the 1,000-page shopping venue obsolete, and printing and transportation costs have been rising annually. The move also improves Penney's environmental footprint, reducing its catalog paper use by 30% next year,” The Dallas Morning News reports. (These are truths that keep newspaper publishers awake at night.)
Much slimmer catalogs will still be mailed to targeted audiences, but their aim will be to direct people to Penney stores or to jcp.com, rather than pick up the phone and place an order.
Big catalogs, thicker and heavier than the phone book in most towns, have a warm and fuzzy place in many people’s personal histories, the Morning News observes.
The arrival of a big book from Sears, Penney, Montgomery Ward or Spiegel were big events, especially the fall and winter books because they were studied long and hard to come up with Christmas wish lists.
The Sears catalog’s glorious 106-year run came to an end in 1993. Fans of that catalog can read a detailed chronology -- electric washing machines were introduced in 1910, Craftsman tools first appeared in 1928 -- at this Sears Archives Web site.
Spiegel has changed ownership several times in recent years, and the defunct Montomery Ward catalog was revived earlier this year as a marketing gimmick of sorts.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Penney's catalog sales peaked in 1999 at $4 billion. Its formerly mighty circulation of 14 million had shrunk to 9 million when the final edition came out.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Tired of your wallet taking a beating at the grocery store? Here are some creative ways to save big on food costs.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'