For The First Time, J.C. Penney Launches CRM For All Customers

For the first time in its more than 100-year history, J.C. Penney on Thursday (Aug. 14) launched a CRM program for all of its customers. Until Thursday, the only CRM program the chain ever had was limited to J.C. Penney credit card customers.

But the $20 billion retail chain, with roots dating back to 1902, decided to use its customers' payment card numbers as customer identification numbers. To avoid PCI conflict, J.C. Penney is using a form of tokenization to convert those payment card numbers into "a different ID number," said company spokeswoman Kate Parkhouse.

The chain also chose to launch this program across multiple channels, requiring this CRM database to have its claws in POS systems online, in-store, in the call center and in potentially future moves in mobile.

"We're always doing different promotions all the time," Parkhouse said. "This is a way that we can offer them a discount that will always be consistent."

The program allows consumers to register as many as three payment cards at the time of sign-up.