That Didn’t Last Long: JCPenney Brings Back Sales

Maybe people were staying away because they hated these shout-y JCPenney ads?

Maybe people were staying away because they hated these shout-y JCPenney ads?

Almost exactly a year after saying “NOOOOOO!” to sales and switching to an everyday low price model (and about six months after deciding maybe this was a stupid idea), JCPenney has officially changed its mind and will be bringing back all the sales it had assumed customers didn’t want.

“Our sales have gone backward a little more than we expected, but that doesn’t change the vision or the strategy,” CEO Ron Johnson, who took over the helm of the company in late 2011 and is the man behind many of the sweeping updates to the department store chain, told the AP. “We made changes and we learned an incredible amount. That is what’s informing our tactics as we go forward.”

Johnson’s plan got rid of all the store’s short-term sales and replaced them with deep discounts. There would also be month-long sales of certain items. JCP made good on its promise to discount its merchandise, but after decades of being used to weekly and weekend sales, customers just didn’t understand — and weren’t coming into the stores.

This led to the dismissal of the recently hired company president and the beginning of Johnson’s hedging on the whole “no more sales” idea.

“We’re moving away from the word ‘month-long value’ because no one really understood that, to calling it what we intended to do, a sale,” said Johnson in June.

Even though sales are coming back to the retailer, it says there won’t be as many as customers were seeing before. In the pre-Johnson years, JCP had some 600 sales/year throughout its various departments.

Among the first sales of the new JCP is a pre-Valentine’s jewelry sale that goes Feb. 1 through Feb. 14. BusinessInsider first reported on this last week.

JCPenney is already under fire for its plans to add manufacturers’ and competitors’ prices to its in-store price tags. The New York Post wrote last week that employees were being told to simply make up these higher prices. However, the company tells DailyFinance that this is not true.

Johnson now tells the AP that all comparison prices posted on these tags will be approved by the company’s legal team.

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