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Clint Engel

UPDATE: JCPenney to switch to everyday low pricing strategy

PLANO, Texas - JCPenney says it is introducing a new pricing strategy that will be easier for consumers to understand and includes everyday low prices.
The department store retailer outlined the changes at an event in New York. Among other things, JCPenney is launching a new logo and said it will remodel every store over the next four years, while rolling out a series of 80 to 100 brand-specific shops.

It also has hired television personality Ellen DeGeneres, a former JCPenney employee during her teen years, as a new "brand partner," according to a release.

The new "Fair and Square" pricing program features everyday prices, month-long values and "best prices," which the retailer said will be its lowest prices - always happening on the first and third Fridays of every month.

"These prices will be coupled with a new promotional cadence that is in sync with customers' lives," the company said in an announcement.

"Rather than inundating the customer with a relentless series of sales, coupons, rebates and retail gimmicks, JCPenney will host 12 promotional events each year, on a monthly calendar. Each month will include even better values on the things customers are looking to buy during the month and a host of exciting products and services that are unique to the month," the company said.

"Our three tier pricing applies across all our merchandise categories - including furniture," said JCPenney spokeswoman Sarah Kelleher.

An earlier report from the event said Penney was permanently marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40%, but Kelleher said CEO Ron Johnson was merely trying to "illustrate the range of our past discounting efforts." by noting that much of the retailer's merchandise was previously sold at 40% to 60% off the regular price.

It is unclear if the new pricing strategy actually means lower prices than what consumers already have seen from the chain.

JCPenney is No. 20 on Furniture/Today's most recent list of the Top 25 U.S. furniture and bedding retailers, with estimated 2010 sales in the categories of $590 million, down from an estimated $620 million in 2009.

 

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