JCPenney’s Fair and Square Pricing Policy Would Make Mr. Penney Proud


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James Cash Penney opened his first store in 1902 and named it “The Golden Rule,” which was also the store’s credo – treat people as you would like to be treated. I think Mr. Penney would be happy with the new policy the store that bears his name instituted on February 1, JCPenneyFair and Square Every Day” pricing. The goal of the policy, according to Ron Johnson, the store’s new CEO, is to lower the prices and lessen the confusion of the many in-store and mailbox promotions the company (and its competitors) had been printing and sending.

Maybe you’ve seen the commercials for “Fair and Square” that feature people screaming as an avalanche of store circulars piles out of their mailboxes and more frustrated shrieks as shoppers arrive at a store, clipped coupon in hand, only to find the sale is over.

I was pleasantly surprised by the changes I noticed last week when I needed something from my local Sephora, which is inside JCPenney. Although it has never been my go-to department store, I’ve shopped at JCPenney enough to notice the improvements and better prices.

CEO Johnson, who most recently successfully oversaw retail strategy at Apple (even started their “Genius Bar,” for customer technical support) and had been with Target in various roles before that, said he wants people to visit the store monthly. Prices will be low all month but certain items will be discounted further on the first and third Friday of each month, which will allow the retailer to clear out certain things, while making it easier for the customer to know just when the additional discounts will be available.

“We haven’t given the customer enough reasons to love us,” Johnson was recently quoted as saying. While JCPenney sales may have proven that statement correct from a bottom-line standpoint, it seems people have loved JCPenney for years anyway.

Long before this new pricing policy, the company was regarded as a champion in the customer service field. They’ve been in the top 15 of the Customers’ Choice Awards sponsored by the National Retail Foundation and American Express for the past six years (most of the time in the top 10). This year, JCPenney comes in at #8 on the list, sandwiched between Land’s End and Newegg. So it’s apparent that shoppers really want to do business with JCPenney, probably because they’re an American institution.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Amy Campbell
Research Assistant and former VIPdesk concierge, Amy relates to the customer experience on three levels: through researching the customer service philosophies of prospective VIPdesk clients, as a provider of the superior customer service VIPdesk is famous for and as a consumer who loves to shop and appreciates top notch service.


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