After nearly a year of JCPenney's "two-tier pricing" policy, the still struggling department store will reintroduce sales next week. The controversial plan that CEO Ron Johnson implemented last February included selling all merchandise at 40% off instead of hosting the typical 600+ seasonal discounts and coupons and a slew of shop-in-shops and designer collabs. This Fall, both a $10 off coupon emailed to customers via Johnson's personal address, and a 30% off clearance sale sent red flags to investors that the policy was not getting people in the door.
But despite reintroducing "some" of the sales (Valentine's Day jewelry discounts, anyone?) Johnson didn't admit defeat. Instead he said the new sales are an "evolution" of his strategy, and "Our sales have gone backward a little more than we expected, but that doesn't change the vision or the strategy. We made changes and we learned an incredible amount. That is what's informing our tactics as we go forward."
One of those tactics is to add retailer's suggested price along with JC Penney's 40%-less all the time price on more than half of the merchandizes' tags, which is a strategy TJ Maxx, Crate and Barrel, and Marshalls shoppers might recognize. Will a tag make-over reconcile JCP with its middle class customers after juice bars, yoga studios, trendy labels, and lack of discounts scared them away? Only the rest of 2013 will tell.
· JCPenney Sales are Back [CNN
· Is JC Penney Backtracking on Its No-Sale Policy? [Racked]
· JCPenney's CEO: E-Commerce Is Not a Priority [Racked]