Fair and Square
J.C. Penney kicked off the new year with a branding makeover. A decrease in sales and new Chief Executive Ron Johnson prompted the rebranding. Johnson describes this shift as a return to the Golden Rule. J.C. Penney, now referring to itself as JCP, is making it easier for customers to shop.
Johnson said he changed things up because it didn’t make sense –why make the customer work? Why make them wake up at the crack of dawn or sort through a mess of coupons? JCP is implementing “fair and square” pricing, instead of marking up prices in order to reduce them for sales; JCP is offering everyday low prices and monthly sales.
I stopped in JCP two weekends ago and was pretty impressed. The sections of the store that were updated were much less cluttered and had a modern twist. It will be interesting to see how sales are affected by the pricing change. Most reviews seem to be positive as people appreciate the convenience. But does this pricing take some fun out of shopping? I know I love getting a good deal, especially on clothes. I leave the mall feeling accomplished and savvy. But at the same time, I do feel foolish for paying full price on some items. For example, I would never pay full price at Gap and Express. They bombard my email with coupons daily, so if there is an item I want, I wait a couple of days for the really good coupon. Only time will tell if JCP’s strategy will pay off, or if shoppers simply crave the thrill of the sale.