JCPenney kills catalogs for 'look books'

JCPenney did away with its giant catalog last year, but stuck with smaller, more specialized catalogs for things like school uniforms and window coverings. But if you're a fan of flipping pages and ordering items, say goodbye to the catalog as we know it: JCPenney still wants you to look, but prefers you do it online or in a physical store.

In lieu of the 12 specialty catalogs, JCPenney will be sending out marketing materials similar to "look books." Fashion houses and designers traditionally use look books to illustrate new collections, but the trend has been sneaking into the mainstream with mass marketers like Target and Kohl's showing off new designer/partner collections as "looks," in addition to item-by-item listings online. Even Best Buy is using look books to showcase its holiday offerings, so JCPenney's transition isn't the surprising part: it's what took it so long.