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J.C. Penney Won’t Change Strategy, Company Says

By Rob Bates, Senior Editor
Posted on June 20, 2012
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The departure of J.C. Penney president Michael Francis does not mean the company’s “Fair and Square” pricing strategy will change, the company tells JCK

Michael’s departure does not signify a change to jcpenney’s long-term transformation plans,” says company spokeswoman Kate A. Coultas. “We remain focused on our vision to becoming America’s favorite store through great product and exciting new brands, a dynamic shops environment, and an ongoing commitment to treating customers Fair and Square.”

CEO Ron Johnson, an Apple veteran who took over the chain last year, told The Wall Street Journal that overall the new strategy “is working well” and the new management “will not waver.”

He added that the company’s sales had shown “modest improvement,” although Father’s Day sales were disappointing.

Johnson said much the same in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, but added Francis departed because the marketing “wasn’t resonating.”

“The key thing is we’ve got to make sure the customer understands that our pricing is really terrific every day,” he told the newspaper. “We are going to refine the pricing and marketing to make it really clear that our everyday pricing is exceptional.”

He said he will now take over the company’s merchandising and advertising and does not intend to replace Francis.

The company has made some adjustments to its strategy, including bringing back the previously unused word sale. Johnson’s vision involves having Penney house a group of boutiques, including one run by watch brand Tourneau.

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