J.C. Penney is on desktops

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J.C. Penney customers now can get their fix of news about sales and the latest trends.

It's not an RSS feed. J.C. Penney is keeping in touch with customers via a desktop application downloaded for free.

"We don't have any preconceived notions about who the application will most appeal to or how it's likely to be used," said Dave Owen, manager of Internet customer relationship marketing for jcp.com.

J.C. Penney, Plano, TX, is currently testing the application with a cross-section of its opt-in e-mail list. Several weeks ago, the company sent an e-mail to its file informing them about the application at www.jcptoday.com.

JCPToday was developed by J.C. Penney in collaboration with information broadcast technology firm Skinkers, marketing firm T3 and Internet consultancy WTG.

"We knew that the only way we could get this direct access to the desktop was to be able to provide the type of content that consumers want and in a way that is going to be enjoyable and not interruptive to them," said Kate Donaho, group creative director at T3.

There is a rich media "Scoop" area where information is presented in an editorial format. In addition, there's a My Stuff section that has a calendar customers can use to set reminders. Future additions include local store events and fashion hints for favorite brands.

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