JCPenney's new "everday low prices" policy—no coupons, no ads covered in fine print, no deceptive "sales"—is off to a bad start: the company posted a loss and its sales have dwindled.
The campaign, which launched on Feb. 1, appears to be a disaster. Revenue dropped 20 percent for the first quarter compared to last year. Customer traffic fell 10 percent. Last year, the company made $64 million in the first quarter; this year, it lost $163 million.
Could we have a moment of silence please for what might be the last heartbeat of honest price tags?
Not only did Penney's plain pricing structure fail to attract fair-minded shoppers – business reporters wrote with seeming glee during the past few days that it "repelled" them.
Trying to simplify JCPenney's sleazy "bargain hunt" marketing is like trying to simplify the layout of Vegas gambling machines or a no-credit car dealership's newspaper ads. You can't change what makes the dog drool.