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US chain JC Penney bans all those 'Sales' : opts for permanent price cuts

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By Noel Young | Correspondent

January 26, 2012 | 2 min read

One of America's biggest department-store chains , J.C. Penney, is revamping its ideas after a disappointing Christmas shopping season.

JC Penney : big revamp

One of the biggest changes: the store chain will do away with the hundreds of Sales it has dotted throughout the year.

"We are rethinking, we are reimagining, and if we find we have picked up some bad habits through the decades, we will leave them far behind," Chief Executive Ron Johnson told industry analysts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

As the Sales posters vanish, the company will permanently slash prices on all products, offer month-long sales on select items, and clearance deals on the first and third Fridays of each month.

Johnson, who arrived from Apple to take charge in October, said Penney's previous strategy of rampant promotions "created confusion among shoppers and a wait-and-see mentality".

For example, the retailer ran 590 unique promotions in 2011, but the average customer went to a Penney store only four times that year.

The result: Almost 73% of its revenue is made from products sold at a discount of 50% or more, he said, and only 0.2% of revenue comes from goods bought at full price.

The lesson was very simple, Johnson said: The customer "knows the right price."

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