Why shoppers are dissing JC Penney

JCPenney made headlines this year when it announced it was doing away with weekly sales and coupon inserts in the Sunday paper.

Instead, it launched a new "everyday low price" policy, similar to Walmart. After all, it works well for Walmart, why not for Penney's?

They call it "Fair and Square" pricing.
Unfortunately, while some loyal JCPenney shoppers love the change, the results so far have not been good.

JC Penney's sales dropped 15 percent the first quarter of this year, when sales were up at most other department stores, including Macy's and Target.

Shoppers Like What They Find

Shopper Michelle Mattie said she likes the strategy.

"I was actually skeptical first when the change happened, but I have actually seen real price drops," Mattie said.

Mattie says her clothing costs her about 20 percent less than it did a year ago.

Meantime, shopper Ellie Moss showed us the money.

"This is a really pretty dressy sweater, see? This sweater cost me just $18," she said.
In addition, there are no more coupons to fuss with, such as with the "one day sales" at other chains.

Why Shoppers Have Stayed Home

Unfortunately, it turns out there's a downside. Retail analysts say with no big sales, there's no big excitement to lure shoppers to the stores. 

Instead, they rush to other chains with their "25 percent off" sales every other week.

"I don't think it's good at all," said shopper Jillaen Abdullah. "The shoppers they had liked the sales. And there's not many people in there right now, and there usually are, so I think it's a bad thing."

Stores May Have to Change

So don't be surprised if you start seeing JC Penney ads again because without hype, it's hard to bring in shoppers.


JC Penney's CEO has just announced to Wall Street investors that the store will soon "tweak" it's no-sale policy, and will offer some specials, to create excitement.

If you are looking for clothing, take a look at Penney's prices: You may be pleasantly surprised. Price comparisons have shown they are indeed 20 percent or more below the list prices in the store just six months ago.

But if more shoppers don't check out JC Penney in the coming weeks, the store may have to make even more changes, to bring back customers who have grown accustomed to in-your-face sales, and who won't shop if they don't feel they are getting a markdown.

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