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Sale! Sale! JC Penney goes back to its old ways ... but can it still win?

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 29, 2013 | 2 min read

Troubled giant American retailer JCPenney has done back to its old ,old ways, with sales, special offers and so on instead of fixed stay-low prices.

Ron Johnson: Can he still win?

A spokeswoman said in a statement,“While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register.”

This means, said Forbes magazine, that the retailer has returned its former high-low pricing with a product priced higher only to be marked down periodically as part of a promotion.

The chain began changing the price tags on merchandise earlier this month and should be done in the next few weeks.

JCPenney and boss Ron Johnson, the successful CEO who masterminded Apple stores, famously tried to do away with this strategy last year,with everyday low prices, or “fair and square” pricing as the retailer called it in ads, said Forbes.

"In that time sales have plummeted by 25% for the year with stock prices faring much worse. Johnson and company have returned to sales, running regular 20% off events, and now this."

Forbes wonders out loud , "It it too little too late? A disappointing reversal? The hastening of the end of JCPenney?

"That depends on what you’re reading… Cut sales and there’s a chorus of critics bemoaning the move. Add them back in, and get called a hypocrite. … JCPenney doesn’t stand a chance."

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