J.C. Penney is in the midst of a major transformation. As I noted a couple weeks back, the company is moving away from its reliance on discounts; J.C. Penney has lowered everyday retail prices and is doing less price cutting. This year the company stopped using the word sale entirely, instead focusing on what it called “month-long values.”
Results have been grim and J.C. Penney is now retreating, at least a little.
CEO Ron Johnson this week announced that the company would start using the word sale again. He said, “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.”
The big question remains: will J.C. Penney continue to retreat, once again embracing deep discounts, or will the company stick with the basic plan?
A lot will depend on results; if sales don’t stabilize quickly this week’s announcement will be just the first step.