34 thoughts on “March 13, 2013

  1. This strategy worked brilliantly for JCPenney, so I don’t see why Grumbel’s shouldn’t want their Chapter 11, too.

    Oh wait. Chapter 11 is the nadir of a business. I can totally see it coming after this stupidity…

      • Now now, JCP made one small little mistake… (well, lot’s of huge major mistakes) but I hear, they’re back to having sales… So, if something doesn’t work after a year of lost revenue and bad press, do what worked to begin with.

        • JC Penney is not only back to having sales, but also back to their old CEO. They got rid of the Apple guy. For which I am glad. He made me really happy I was no longer working there when he took over.

  2. It won’t work of course. Customers want sales. They’ll take one look at this sign and head for the door.

    • Sales only beget more sales and are the death spiral of retail. JCP is trying to recover from that; whether they succeed is why we are watching them

      • Then leave and ditch the merch while throwing a fit when they realize it’s not on sale and probably scream about false advertising since it’s clearly Grumble’s fault they only read the big red word–which of course is what they’re counting on…

        • Regardless of font, the mere presence of the word “sale” anywhere on any sign will cause screaming fits over false advertising.

          …Although it will make the daily migration of goods to “sale” racks/tables much more interesting after the change-over.

          • And who gets screamed at? Not the bigwigs in Corporate who thought this up, but the sales associates on the front lines, who agree that the whole thing is stupid and have no power at all to change it. :(

  3. Honestly this wouldn’t work on me. Never has, never will.

    I mean it doesn’t matter if it’s $15 cheaper than the MSRP–if EVERYBODY is selling it at the same price, there’s no reason to pick a different store than the most convenient one/one I already like because of good service.

    And it doesn’t matter how much cheaper it is–if I wasn’t interested in it before, I’m not gonna magically be interested by supposed savings.

  4. I remember a local store putting up a big “Going out for business sale.” Everybody thought it said “Going out of business sale” and would tell us all about the great deals they got from “that store at the Town and Country that’s closing soon.” Nobody seemed to pick up on the fact that it never actually went out of business. lol

    • I worked for a jewelry store that tried that. The owner thought he was a genius (literally, bragged about his test scores, etc.). We employees HATED those signs. Repeatedly pointing out to people that the sign didn’t say what they thought it did was not good for building trust.

      The bankruptcy sale wasn’t long after. I learned more about what not to do in business from that man!

  5. I remember on Black Friday that if customers had a coupon for a big sale they came in droves. The next Black Friday they just advertised the sale of the same product without the coupon the products didn’t move. The psychological aspect of having a coupon in your hand makes people spend more money.

  6. I used to love shopping at JCPenney’s, but now, I won’t even look at what they have. Many places typically sell for below MSRP, it isn’t really incentive enough.

  7. Yeah, remember a couple of days ago when I said that the “Grumbel’s Price!” tags really do work?

    Not if you’re doing away with sales, they don’t. Despite popular belief, customers are only so dumb.


  8. A friend of mine is a shopper — she always “needs” something. She’s a retailers dream. She must have cards at most of the major stores so she gets their coupons; if she can use a coupon with a sale she’s in heaven. There must be a coupon or sale because it’s the getting the item at a “good price” which motivates her. Every day low prices would translate as full retail price to her.

  9. Then, of course, there’s the old tale of a store who posted a sign that read, “Everything for Sale!” and people came in droves. No word on whether they returned anything when they realized it wasn’t ON sale, just FOR sale – or if they even noticed!

  10. Am I the only person on the planet that *liked* JC Penny’s aborted no ad, lower prices strategy? No more hoping that something was on sale when I needed it, etc. And the prices weren’t that bad either, at least on what I bought.

    • I loved JCP’s ‘fair and square’ pricing. I felt like I could go in and shop there anytime and know I’m getting a great value. Kohl’s, on the other hand, I won’t even enter unless I have a coupon/Kohl’s Cash/knowledge that the thing I’m looking for is 40% off because their markup is so ridiculously high. I think Ron Johnson has some great ideas for retail, but I’m afraid they might be too radical for a public that’s been trained to react to a sale like Pavlov’s dog.

      I really hope RJ succeeds at JCP. I think it could mean great things for department store retail in the long run.

      • I won’t go into Kohl’s at all. I’ve been there twice. No one ever approached t see if I needed / wanted anything. Couldn’t find a clerk (can’t call them sales professionals; they aren’t professional and obviously don’t know anything about selling) to ask questions.

        Nope. No service (twice, no less) means no shopping there.

    • Nope, I like it too. A branded shirt that used to say $38 is now around $20 normally and the super value weeks might have gotten it to $14.

      Since I already know my size tends to disappear quickly I have been willing to spend the $20 on things I really like or need to replace. And now that I can see the price difference on similar items between department stores I’ve stopped buying from the others.

  11. Does Walmart every have sales? Isn’t the JCP stategy essentially the same as Walmart’s everyday low prices stategy?

    • Walmart does indeed have sales. I changed enough prices every week when I worked there to know. And especially in electronics where I worked, because the new release DVD prices were always changing. They also have ‘rollbacks’ which is basically a sale that lasts for three or four months.

      As for JCP, I liked the new pricing thing they did. The clothes there got better priced, cause they didn’t have to mark everything up just to make the sale look better. It was low to begin with.

  12. It should be noted, however, that “our prices are so low we don’t need sales” is the marketing strategy of Trader Joes, and that place has been doing really, really well from what I hear.

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