By Scaling Back Catalogs, JC Penney to Save 30% on Paper

by | Nov 19, 2009

jcpJ.C. Penney will cease publishing its twice-annual Big Book catalogs, instead focusing on its Christmas catalog and other niche catalogs. The move will save the retailer 25-30 percent in paper use, according to published reports.

The company is not acting solely to save paper. Rather, consumers shopping on the Internet has made the giant, 1,000-page catalogs obsolete, said Mike Boylson, J.C. Penney’s Chief Marketing Officer, in an article at the Dallas Morning News. In 2006, J.C. Penney’s online sales topped $1 billion.

At its peak, J.C. Penney distributed 14 million copies of its Big Book. About nine million copies were printed of the most recent version.

This follows recent news that Sears was adopting a sustainable paper procurement policy for its catalogs, retail circulars, direct mail and internal paper usage.

Sears Holdings is using Metafore’s Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT) to help in the procurement policy, according to a press release.

Sears will be working with suppliers to better understand the lifecycle costs of paper choices based on grade types.

Even suppliers to retailers are scaling back their print catalogs. Woolrich, which sells outdoor lifestyle items and home furnishings, is foregoing its binder-style catalogs in favor of an online edition, reports Home Textiles.

Last December, when the ForestEthics rated companies like Sears and J.C. Penney in its Catalog Environmental Scorecard, Sears scored poorly for its use of unsustainable paper sources, while J.C. Penney scored in the middle of the pack. The recent moves by both companies are likely to move them up in the rankings.

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