JCPenney Proclaims ‘Shopping is Back!’ in New 120th Anniversary Campaign

JCPenney 120th anniversary Shopping is Back
Melissa Villaseñor as Penny James Image courtesy of JCPenney

JCPenney is celebrating its 120th anniversary with a fresh campaign centered on retail’s return: “Shopping is Back!” The department store retailer has updated its branding in stores and online in addition to offering an anniversary discount of 30% storewide and, for reward members, an additional $10 in bonus rewards for every $50 spent through April 12.

As part of its new branding JCPenney has enlisted comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Melissa Villaseñor to fulfill the role of character Penny James, a shopping and JCPenney enthusiast who is the star of the campaign. JCPenney also is launching a cross-country “Shopping is Back!” Tour that will celebrate the retailer’s milestone as it travels across the U.S.

“The JCPenney brand holds an incredibly special place in millions of Americans’ closets, homes and memories,” said Bill Cunningham, VP of Marketing in a statement. “We celebrate this legacy while showing a reinvigorated JCPenney brand that expresses our energy and optimism, which we want customers to experience with us. JCPenney is transforming itself with innovation and imagination and is ready to get back to connecting with our customers through shopping.”

During each stop on the “Shopping is Back!” tour, JCPenney will host a block party-style celebration, hiring local food vendors and organizing games, music and giveaways. The retailer also is joining forces with local nonprofit partners within each community to support initiatives that close the gap for youth who lack the resources and opportunities that will help them to succeed.


“We’re grateful for the tens of millions of customers who have demonstrated their JCPenney love and loyalty,” said Cunningham. “There’s no more authentic way to thank them, our associates and the communities we serve than by creating experiences that tap into JCPenney memories we cherish and creating new ones, too.”

Beginning May 14 in Torrance, Calif., JCPenney’s “Shopping is Back!” tour will travel across the nation with stops in Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia and Pennsylvania. The tour will end Aug. 13 in Garden City, N.Y.

The JCPenney rebrand arrives at a time when the company is continuing to fortify its business following a turbulent 2020 and first half of 2021 marked by store closures and layoffs, in addition to a sale to Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management. By September, JCPenney began to report good news as it strengthened its technology and omnichannel leadership at the executive level.

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