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J.C. Penney overhauls pricing
strategy as sales plummet

Reuters, by Phil Wahba & Dhanya Skariachan

Original Article

Posted By:LittleHoodedMonk, 2/27/2013 10:21:02 PM

J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) on Wednesday reported its sharpest sales drop since announcing a grand transformation plan 13 months ago, a plunge Chief Executive Ron Johnson is trying to stop by largely reversing his failed no-discounts strategy. In the winter holiday season quarter, the most important for retailers, Penney´s comparable sales fell 31.7 percent, steeper than the 27.8 percent drop Wall Street was anticipating. (Snip) So he unveiled an updated pricing strategy on Wednesday in which Penney will offer deals primarily on its own private brands, but stick to "everyday low prices"

My public transportation goes through it´s parking lot, so I pay attention to stories as to how they are doing. Amazingly, the CEO takes full responsibility for the "misstep." No matter how much longer he lasts, that´s a refreshing comment.


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Reply 1 - Posted by: smcchk, 2/27/2013 10:30:08 PM     (No. 9200039)

Penney´s dropped having sales. When you are competing against stores like Kohl´s, who practically pays you to shop there, you need to have sales.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: lylacat, 2/27/2013 10:34:07 PM     (No. 9200049)

I used to always buy at JC Penney´s; I hate their catalogs that they mail out, I hate the way they did the stores, and I hate the fact that they do not have sales like they used to. What moron came up with this? I will never shop there again.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: artman1746, 2/27/2013 10:46:14 PM     (No. 9200068)

You mean pushing the lesbian lifestyle in the face of families as their national spokesperson didn´t solve the problems??? Gee, I wonder what brainchild thought of that one? If Penny´s wants to insult my family and religious values do they really believe I will shop there?

Businesses like that needs to go by the wayside. I feel sooty for their employees but they should have seen it all coming and bailed out by now.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: MissMann, 2/27/2013 10:50:57 PM     (No. 9200073)

Only sales on house brands??? Sounds like he still hasn´t learned his lesson. Maybe in a robust economy he could pull this off but not in this one. The ONLY things I buy are on sale and I don´t care for the cheap carp Penney´s has under its own label.

Plus, choosing Ellen DeGeneris, whom I do like, as a spokesperson is really just poking a stick in the eye of half their customers. How has that helped?

So, nice job Ron. You´ve made brownie points with people who NEVER shop in your store (not that you do, either!).

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 2/27/2013 11:02:27 PM     (No. 9200083)

I was shocked during a recent trip to Penney´s to return a Christmas gift I received.

The store was attractive, but the merchandise was sparse. There were practically no sales people. The housewares department had almost no merchandise, and much of what was there was over-priced. I wanted to buy a ladies´ wallet, but there were none in the store. The one thing I did purchase was marked $45, but rung up as $28--to which the sales person said, "it´s on sale." But there were no signs to indicate that.

Penney´s is toast. It reminded me of a trip to B. Altman shortly before they went out of business. We wanted to buy lamps, but were told we couldn´t, because there was no one to staff the lamp department on Tuesday.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Hammock, 2/27/2013 11:18:03 PM     (No. 9200096)

I stopped shopping there 2 years ago when I ordered a pair of shoes and the wrong size was delivered. I returned the shoes and ordered again with the clerk making big notes about the size ordered. The same wrong size was delivered again.

That indicated huge problems to me - bigger than no sales or lesbians.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Blackeagle, 2/27/2013 11:23:25 PM     (No. 9200104)

I´m curious to see whether JCP´s Mother´s and Father´s Days promotion will again feature same-sex couples.

Also, last year around this time all the models, excepting grandmas and small children, were non white. (Apparently White Grannies are not yet politically incorrect.) However, just saw an online promotion where most of the models could have recruited from some Aryan youth movement.

Moral of the tale: don´t recruit the guy who ´shot layups´ running the Apple store (competition ? What´s that?) to run a business in one of the most cutthroat areas in retail.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: RedWhiteBlue, 2/27/2013 11:30:59 PM     (No. 9200112)

Wellll, I must the only one that cannot stand all these sale coupons that you have to stuff your purse/wallets with when they send them out. It drives me nuts. I want to shop at a store that I can go to when I want to buy something at a reasonable price instead of when THEY (the stores) want me to buy something of theirs. Kohl´s with their coupons that expire every week it seems like and they you have to replenish the ones you already found a place for in your purse/wallet and get rid of the ones that are old!!!! And I HATE all these reward cards (YIKES) that every store you go into asks if you have!!! What do we look like? A storage for their garbage they want US to carry around? How about a nice fair price for EVERY customer that walks through their store with having them loaded down with all that nasty trash! That´s what I want from a store that will appreciate MY money!

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Reply 9 - Posted by: paloalto, 2/27/2013 11:49:26 PM     (No. 9200127)

I have an atta-boy Penney´s story.

A month ago I bought something from Penney´s for the first time in about 20 years. I looked high and low in stores and online for a very particular item I needed. I ended up ordering it online from Penney´s because they had it in stock, for the lowest price I could find. They had free shipping so I placed my order in the evening and it was delivered to my doorstep the NEXT afternoon. Less than 24 hours. I still have no idea how they did it.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: cactus, 2/28/2013 12:09:22 AM     (No. 9200139)

I like Kohl´s. It´s convenient, I like the coupons, they have sales, and I can find clothes that fit and I like to wear. I have a hard time saying that about most stores these days.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: thewarden, 2/28/2013 12:11:35 AM     (No. 9200141)

I work for Kohls. It is a good company and very involved in the community--each store does a lot of service projects and we make a lot of grants. Really. Also, customers want the discounts, the sales, the specials, doorbusters and yes, the dreaded coupons,. They just do. It´s basic marketing psychology. Trust me, I see it and live it every shift. Oh, and if you didn´t know, the number of associates on the floor is related directly to sales goals met or not--if we don´t hit our goals our payroll is adjusted accordingly. So, if there is not a lot of help on the floor, blame Obama.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: killerbee, 2/28/2013 12:13:49 AM     (No. 9200142)

JCPenney is definitely understaffed. I was just there and had to wait ten minutes in line when there was only one person in front of me. Their system is antiquated and there is no one around to help customers.

I do like some of their merchandise, although they definitely ripped me off on some window treatments.

I agree with above posters, Kohl´s has most of what I need and they´re adequately staffed. It´s just a better shopping experience.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 2/28/2013 1:18:09 AM     (No. 9200171)

CEO´s need to stop reinventing the wheel and realize the consumers are not always wrong. If we don´t show up, you close the doors. Enough with the gimmicks.

I haven´t been to a Penney´s for years.

As far as Kohl´s. When they first came to this area, I went there and couldn´t get the help to stop talking to each other in spanish long enough to help me, so I left and haven´t been back.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Kansas Conservative, 2/28/2013 1:26:31 AM     (No. 9200181)

I love both Kohl´s and JC Pennys. It is easy to rag on businesses. Why is a conservative site like this attaching capitalist enterprises like Kohls and Pennys that are providing good service and products, hiring Americans, and doing good work? We need to let up on Pennys. They are having troubles in a tough economy...but a lot of businesses are, too. Blame Obama and the Democrats for the mess they have made of the economy.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: belwhatter, 2/28/2013 3:51:23 AM     (No. 9200243)

I´m enough of an old fogey to wish Penney´s would hark back to the way it was two to three decades ago. It was a thriving company which sold clothing you needed not skimpy fashion frippiness, and the catalog was a thing of wonder for the all encompassing products it offered.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: provide, 2/28/2013 7:01:45 AM     (No. 9200377)

All these department stores are going away. The days of knowledgeable sales people or sales people at all have gone. I worked for a Wards store in the 80s and even though I had no previous retail sales experience, was hired because I knew the products very well. I guess that beats the professional teen sales person who has no product knowledge or people skills.

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