Three months into JCPenney's new, "improved" image reveals one thing:  customers aren't impressed.  First Quarter numbers were recently posted, showing that the retailer was off by $163 million dollars.

Just prior the end of Q4 in 2011, JCPenney rolled out a new marketing campaign in which they "did away with gimmicks".  One of those "gimmicks" they did away with was coupons;  Officials at JCPenney took pleasure in saying that consumers were tired of those "little scraps of paper".

Maybe JCPenney was tired of coupons - but the public apparently isn't.

So where does the retailer go from here?  Even if JCPenney scraps their new marketing concept and goes back to business the way it was before, will consumers come back?  Social media sites have been alive with commentary - and none of it is very complimentary for the company.  One former customer posted:

“I’m offended that your COO wants to ‘wean me off’ those ‘scraps of paper,’” writes one customer on the store’s Facebook wall. “Those scraps of paper are what allow me to feed my family.” She adds that she plans to take her home goods purchases to competitor Kohl’s “since they (like me) ♥ coupons.”

It will be interesting to watch where the company goes from here.  American Capitalism is ripe with success stories of companies that have come back from the brink;  Coca Cola circa 1985 is a good example.

One thing is for sure -- no matter what business you're in, the age-old adage is true:  always listen to your customers.