J.C. Penney Utters Four-Letter Word

There, they said it. “Sale.”

When J.C. Penney began 2012 with a new strategy, CEO Ron Johnson vowed the department store chain was finished with coupons and sales. From now on, it would be “fair and square pricing,” which was a three-tiered system of prices.

Johnson said customers wouldn't be hearing the word “sale” again. Instead, the company would call these events “month-long values.”

Customers posting on ConsumerAffairs didn't like it and apparently, enough others didn't like it either. Penney's sales plunged in the first quarter of the year. This week Johnson told a Piper Jaffray investors conference that it failed to effectively communicate with its customers so the word “sale” is returning to its advertising.

Consumers like Amanda, of Tao Baja, Puerto Rico, are saying “told you so.”

“Since the new CEO changed the strategy to Fair and Square, we have practically stopped shopping,” Amanda wrote in a ConsumerAffairs post. “The store is mostly empty, there are no good sales and I know many people have drifted to Macys instead.”

And Amanda says she is not at all surprised to see the company changing course again.

“Of course,” she wrote. “The coupons and sales were excellent motivators and I know that the stores sold more this way than the way it is now.”

But Penney's isn't abandoning all its changes. Johnson says in August the chain will start remodeling stores that will be turned into a number of separate shops. And Johnson said the new pricing policy actually helped draw in more vendors that will draw in new customers over time.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Consumer Affairs


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