Report: J.C. Penney Slashing Prices

J.C. Penney is reinventing its reinvention.

The company is “making deep price cuts” to many of its everyday prices, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal said the cuts will take place in August, and will affect up to 20 percent of the goods in Penney’s stores. The new cuts will slash current prices by as much as one-third, it added.

In response to a query, J.C. Penney spokeswoman Kate A. Coultas said the company was “sharpening our regular retail price that we will offer every day. We want the first price to be the right price.”

She also noted the company was moving away from the three-tier pricing structure first instituted by CEO Ron Johnson, into just “everyday low prices” and “clearance.”

“Moving forward, we will commit to offering one everyday low price and will no longer offer month-long value prices,” she said. “As we looked at our results this spring, we found that nearly 70 percent of our sales came from our everyday prices, while only 15 percent came from our month-long values. Customers are voting with their wallets that they want the first price to be the right price.”

Coultas added that the company was instituting a new “price match guarantee” program.

“We want customers to have the assurance that they are getting low prices every day at J.C. Penney,” she said. “So if a customer finds a lower price on an identical item at a competitor, we’ll gladly match that price.”

Still, Penney’s reinvention faces hurdles. The Journal quoted sources as saying its second-quarter figures may be as grim as the figures from its first quarter.