JC Penney’s ‘Suit-Up’ sales event moves online

UND community eligible for good deals on professional wear through week-long sale

Web screenshot.

UND students, faculty, staff and alumni all have a chance to “Suit-Up” this week through JC Penney’s professional clothing sales event, pandemic notwithstanding.

Extending Sept. 6 through 12, members of the University community can follow a link to the Suit-Up Event’s website, and also text “UND” to 67292 to receive a 30-percent-off coupon code for use at checkout.

Even in a world where the board room might be the living room, or the office is the kitchen table, it’s as good a time as ever to ensure one is dressed for success, said Jen Proulx of UND Career Services.

The retailer’s Suit-Up Events from past years, on-site at the Grand Forks JC Penney store, have drawn hundreds of students.

Proulx and the UND Career Services team weren’t sure what to expect this year, where in-person events have taken a back seat in the interest of public health.

“But JC Penney really has the students’ best interest in mind,” said Proulx. “They have shown up for us in trying to make this event possible, virtually. I’m so thrilled with our partnership with them.”

Web screenshot.

Dress for success

Taking place relatively early in the semester, the Career Services team hopes students especially take advantage of the low prices. UND-hosted Career Expos are just around the corner, which will also be virtual for the foreseeable future.

Jennifer Proulx

“But even though the events are virtual, we still want to encourage students to make a positive first impression by dressing professionally, even they’re just in a video chat,” Proulx said.

Building a wardrobe of office-appropriate apparel is a matter of future-thinking, according to the Career Services coordinator. If students are soon to graduate, it could be a few short months until they’re finding themselves in interviews. The same could be said of internship opportunities for undergrads, or a variety of future, professional endeavors.

Thankfully, JC Penney has done much of the heavy lifting to move the sales event online, said Proulx. It’s still possible to arrange curbside pickup if purchased items are in-stock locally. Otherwise, as standard for online shopping, purchases will be shipped directly to home addresses.

On UND’s end, preparation has been a matter of getting the word out for “Suit-Up” through newsletters, emails, Handshake and other social media.

“We’re hoping that this ends up being a great deal for everybody,” Proulx told UND Today.

Videos with helpful tips are linked to on many of the store’s pages, should shoppers need assistance with sizing their latest outfits. YouTube screenshot.

Supporting local retail

The sales event also creates an opportunity to show support for local retail. Proulx noted that there aren’t a lot of stores, locally, that provide affordable, professional dress clothes. Retailers have gone through a difficult time with COVID-19 affecting foot traffic.

The Suit-Up Event could be an odd instance of online shopping supporting a brick-and-mortar presence.

“I’m not sure if this partnership and event would be possible if we didn’t have a JC Penney’s located in Grand Forks,” Proulx said. “It’s important that we continue to support them in the hopes they can stay in our community.”

Visitors to the site will see all of the jackets, shirts, dresses, shoes and accessories they would expect to see marked off in-store, as well as some points of extra assistance from JC Penney.

“At previous events, staff would take measurements of students in the store so they would know what size of shirt they’d be purchasing,” Proulx explained. “For this new venue, JC Penney has put together some videos to show how students can do that at home.”

In addition to the ongoing week-long sale, another is planned for the spring semester, in April 2021.

Following the sale link, shoppers will need to add items to their cart found within the women’s and men’s career apparel categories, as those are the items qualifying for the extra 30-percent discount (received from texting “UND” to 67292).