JC Penney Brings Sales Back.


By Shopping Enthusiast, Kara Monson

In early 2012 JC Penney decided to simplify their retail pricing strategy and offer “month long values”. This new approach replaced the coupons and sales historically run at JC Penney, modeled similar to the WalMart everyday low price system. The promotional advertisement materials and deals would run for a month’s time and it was supposed to be that easy.

After all, under the direction of new CEO and former SVP of Retail Operations at Apple, Ron Johnson, the company had high hopes for success. Under his leadership, JC Penney has made many changes. In addition to the pricing structure, the logo, branding and advertisement styles have all changed.

Changes in high level staffing may also be shifting, per the latest news update. Just this week after announcing declines in revenue by 40%, Johnson announced the “sales” message will once again return to JC Penney. Despite 40% lower prices for merchandise than one year ago, customers still aren’t choosing to shop at JC Penney.

While JC Penney should be commended for taking a unique stand against other competing retailers, they seem to also recognize when they need to revise their strategy as their customers demand. Today’s consumers want to feel like they are getting a deal. Price matters. Coupons are cool again, courtesy of daily deals sites and newspaper coupon clipping. The new JC Penney three-tiered pricing strategy may be confusing customers who may not want to take the time to understand it and can instead be lured to another competitor’s 20% off sale.

JC Penney was founded over 100 years ago. They have weathered decades and many economic climates before. To stay in business, hopefully the decision to advertise “sales” brings the people back too.