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Ron Johnson Offers Gift Cards to Lure Shoppers to his Coupon Free Stores

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.