J.C. Penney, it seems, is damned if it doesn’t, and damned if it does.
After its former CEO’s plans for “everyday pricing” led to a dramatic drop in sales, the company’s return to sales and discounts is drawing flack—including from NBC’s Today show.
On July 24, the morning show broadcast a piece claiming that some of J.C. Penney’s price changes were “misleading” to consumers.
According to the report, Penney is now selling a Dyson vacuum cleaner advertised as $649, marked down from the regular price of $725.
“It sounds like a great deal,” the show said, “but we checked with the manufacturer: Turns out that sale price is the same as the suggested full price.”
The show also spoke to two former employees who didn’t like the new changes.
“All of a sudden, the rack of $7 shorts became $14, and then they were 50 percent off,” one said.
Another current employee said he saw price teams going through the store “doubling” prices.
“Not only was it a fake sale, but [consumers] were actually paying more than they would have been previously,” he said.
In a statement to the Today show, J.C. Penney called its promotion pricing a policy that’s “employed often in the retail industry.”
“Any time an item is put on sale the item must have been previously sold at its original or regular price for a reasonable period of time,” the retailer said.