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J.C. Penney Utters Four-Letter Word

J.C. Penney Utters Four-Letter Word

June 7th, 2012 by Mark Huffman ConsumerAffairs in News

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.