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JC Penney Says It's Listening, Brings Back St. John's Bay Brand

May 2, 2013

JC Penney is taking to social media channels with a major PR offensive dubbed #jcpListens.

On Monday, the retailer put up a poll on Facebook asking customers which JC Penney brand was their favorite. By Wednesday, it launched the much-debated "It's No Secret" ad apologizing to customers and directing them to Facebook, where it changed its cover photo to include an image featuring #jcpListens.

Then, last night, the retailer announced the brand that emerged as tops in the poll -- the St. John's Bay women's line that was one of the casualties of former CEO Ron Johnson's tenure -- would be returning. At the time the women's line was shuttered in favor of younger brands like Betseyville and Joe Fresh, the house brand brought in more than a billion dollars in sales annually. "We heard you. St. John's Bay is back! What will you snag first, pants or shirts?" the brand posted on Facebook. JC Penney's social-media managers have also been working overtime, as judged by the volume of direct replies to consumers on posts that have thousands of comments.

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