Apparently People Don’t Like The New JCPenney

“Noooooooooo!”

Not even a year ago, JCPenney began its bold new venture into everyday low pricing instead of sales and coupons and the like. By June, JCP had become less hard-line about the “no sales” thing and fired the relatively new company president. And yet things have continued to slide, with sales down 27% in the last quarter.

The Wall Street Journal puts it into perspective: “Penney’s sales over the first nine months of its fiscal year have fallen by $2.7 billion, nearly equivalent to the annual revenue of department store chain Saks Inc.”

In spite of the whopper of a loss, JCP CEO Ron Johnson, which is apparently not an alias for someone in the witness protection program, says that the retailer will continue on with its plans, which includes mini stores within each JCP. Former Apple exec Johnson had likened these to the Genius Bar concept at the Apple Store.

But some of these decisions have really damaged the retailer’s bottom line. For instance, the choice to do away with “month-long value” sales on popular seasonal items has resulted in a $20 million/week loss to JCP.

Disregarding analysts who claim that customers are confused by JCPenney’s recent changes — and subsequent changes to those changes — Johnson claims that “the new jcp, centered around the shop concept, is gaining traction with customers every day and is surpassing our own expectations in terms of sales productivity which continues to give us confidence in our long term business model.”

For the employees of JCP and the shoppers who have stayed with the store for this long, we hope he’s right.