JCPenney continues to struggle with shopper confusion and apathy over its “Fair and Square” pricing scheme, which aims to eliminate coupons and discounts and replace them with Wal-Mart style “always low” prices. Store sales have been flat for two quarters (with rumors of a recent uptick), and JCPenney stock has been sluggish.
Consumers are apparently not the only ones struggling with the program. CEO Ron Johnson, in a recent email, pitched the discounting strategy to customers and promoted their new store design, which features shops-in-shops and aims to keep customers shopping longer. “One of our core values is that you shouldn’t have to wait for a sale or a coupon to get great values. So you’ll find low prices everyday on the brands you love,” Johnson wrote. Paradoxically, Johnson signs off by offering customers…a $10 gift card. Let’s face it – even Ron Johnson likes a bargain.