The changes are evident in every department, from the pink squares hanging at the main entrances to the new company logo emblazoned on merchandise booklets and the absence of signs announcing the latest sales.
Wednesday began a transformation of the Penney’s brand that is not expected to be fully complete until the end of 2015.
One of the biggest shifts is a new Fair and Square pricing strategy that replaces typical retail gimmicks such as coupons and one-day promotions.
The price of any merchandise in the store will now fall into one of three categories — everyday, month-long values and best prices.
Customers will be able to tell the difference by the coinciding red, white and blue price labels.
The new “Happy Returns” policy is designed to be equally simple.
The Penney’s logo has been changed to reflect the Fair and Square system as well as honor the company’s American heritage by evoking the nation’s flag.
Penney’s retired its once-popular big book catalog two years ago. Now customers will be receiving a 96-page monthly book that highlights key merchandise and showcases the current promotional event, which will change each month.
The predominant color of Penney’s stores will be revamped also every few weeks according to the monthly theme.
Outgoing store manager Bill Long said Jasper Penney’s associates have spent weeks preparing for Wednesday’s big reveal.
“Everyone was so receptive to the changes that we were made aware of, and it was really exciting for all the associates to see the end result now that it has come to fruition,” Long said.
He added that he believes the changes will help Penney’s better serve its customers by making shopping more simple.
Coincidentally, the date company executives chose for the roll-out fell on the same day as Long’s retirement.
He has been with the company for 38 years and has managed the local store since 1997.
Long has been replaced by Eric Calhoune, who has worked for Penney’s for 17 years and was previously an assistant store manager at the Hoover Galleria store.
The company is also experiencing a transition in leadership. Michael Francis was named president in October and Apple alumnus Ron Johnson became chief executive officer in November.
Johnson touted the transformation plans, including the new Fair and Square strategy, during a launch event held in New York City on Jan. 25.
“By setting our store monthly and maintaining our best prices for an entire month, we feel confident that customers will love shopping when it is convenient for them, rather than when it is expedient for us,” Johnson said.