We Can Blame Ron Johnson For The Wave Of ‘Perpetual Sale’ Lawsuits, Maybe

In the last few years, consumers, usually based in California, have been filing lawsuits against retailers and their outlet stores alleging that “suggested” and “original” prices on items are pretty much just pulled out of the air. Seeing the amount or percentage that we saved is thrilling for some shoppers, but those “original” prices were never official prices. Whose fault is this? Former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson, maybe.

Johnson, as you might remember, joined ailing midmarket retailer JCPenney and wanted to try something novel: he got rid of sales. Along the way, he spoke out against the practice of perpetual sales, and over at Buzzfeed, retail reporter Sapna Maheshwari wonders whether the publicity blitz where JCPenney got rid of sales planted the idea in shoppers’ heads that retailers really are hiking up prices to discount them, and that outlet purse was never really worth $300.

Shoppers’ love of wildly fluctuating deals over consistent low prices won, Johnson is out of the department store business, and sales are back at JCPenney. Yet relentless deals meant to coax shoppers into stores during and after the recession gave us deal fatigue,

Why 40% Off Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does [Buzzfeed]