There is no power quite like that of the almighty dollar.
And JCPenney may just be about to find out exactly how powerful that dollar is.
After JCPenney was attacked by a group calling themselves One Million Moms for hiring Ellen Degeneres as their spokesperson — saying that JCPenney was jumping on the “Pro-gay” bandwagon and that they would be alienating “traditional families” by hiring her — both JCPenney and Ellen struck back. Ellen herself referred to her “haters as [her] motivators,” while JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson emphatically stated his support of Ellen. “We stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson…because she shares the same values that we do in our company. Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.”
But the story doesn’t end there. Today two bloggers, Tracey Gaughran-Perez and Doug French, are spearheading the movement to show JCPenney the support of parents and consumers for sticking with Ellen — and activating the very group, families and parents, that One Million Moms claimed JCPenney was alienating — by shopping at their store this coming Sunday. “One Million Moms is like a bully trying to get JCPenney to sever ties with Ellen because she’s gay. What we’re doing is like parents coming together and standing up against bullies,” Gaughran-Perez told ABC. Nearly 1,000 people have signed up for their JCPenney Shop-In on Sunday, where consumers are encouraged to head to JCPenney either in person or online to show them a little shopping love, then post a picture of their shopping adventures using the hashtag #JCPShopIn. The page states clearly that the organizers “have no affiliation with JCPenney or The Ellen Show. We’re doing this because we can’t stand the idea that a bunch of crazies positioning themselves as ‘Moms with Family Values’ think they can bully people and get someone fired because of their sexual orientation.”
JCPenney is no stranger to controversy when it comes to sales and sexuality debates. But when it comes down to tapping the mood of the current consumer, they may have gotten it exactly right.
Photo Credit: Sam Howzit on Flickr.