J.C. Penney Says Goodbye to Constant Sales

J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson unveiled a new plan for the department store chain that will slash the amount of sales it runs from 590 to 12.

“Every time we [discount], we discount the Penney’s brand,” Johnson said in a presentation to the media and investors. “At some point you as a brand look desperate.”

Johnson unveiled a new pricing strategy he called “Fair and Square,” which includes three kinds of prices:

  • Everyday, regular prices, which a Penney statement says “are always great”
  • Month-Long Values, which Penney describes as even better prices on the things you need now
  • Best Prices, the retailer’s lowest prices, which always happen on the first and third Fridays of every month as the stores make room for new merchandise

A company statement pledged to no longer inundate “the customer with a relentless series of sales, coupons, rebates, and retail gimmicks.”

A so-called “pricing manifesto” on its site carries this theme further, declaring, “We won’t make anyone jump through hoops to get a good price. We won’t fill mailboxes with junk. We’ll have great prices every day and spectacular prices that last a whole month.”

Johnson is also reinventing the store experience, to include Main Street, which will reorganize the store into a series of 80 to 100 brand shops. Those shops will include Martha Stewart, l’amour nanette lepore, IZOD, Liz Claiborne, and The Original Arizona Jean Company.

Each store will also feature “Town Squares,” scheduled to debut in 2013, which will include a series of services for shoppers.

The stores will be “completely transformed” by 2015, the company said.

J.C. Penney is also recruiting Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman.

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