JCP Executives: We Messed Up

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JCPenneyIn 2012, the first year of Chief Executive Ron Johnson’s turnaround plan, customers left J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) in huge numbers — a mass exodus evidenced by the company’s $4.3 billion dollar sales loss, which was reported in mid-February.

Johnson envisioned a company that could offer everyday low prices and boost its offerings with a wide range of small boutiques from designers like Levi’s or Sephora. His eventual plan was to turn most of the chain’s stores into a cluster of approximately 100 boutiques. But his attempt to revitalize the chain and transform the business has not happened. The executive’s change of the company’s pricing structure — which eliminated coupons and massive sales in favor of “everyday-low prices” — drove customers away instead of drawing them in.

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Comments made recently by executives at J.C. Penney have suggested that the retailer is reversing its position to some degree by reinstating its private labels — like St. John’s Bay — and reviving promotions…

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