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JCPenney foresees a fiscal year of softer sales

New York - JCPenney expects a year of sales declines as it anniversaries last year's highly promotional selling calendar, then should experience rising year-over-year sales, ceo Ron Johnson said this morning at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference here. The company continues to believe sales performance will improve later in the year, he added.
Rather than test the current streamlined pricing in one part of the country before adopting it across the company, "we decided we have to go through one year of transformation and we will get to the other side," said Johnson.
Rolling out the everyday pricing strategy in one fell swoop also allowed the company to immediately cut expenses, particularly ad spend and personnel, he said.
"It does take time for people to understand a pricing change," he said. "It's taking longer than I anticipated."
In discussing the experiences that led him to forge the currently policy, Johnson offered a story about his time in the home department at Target, where he spent five of his 11 years at the retailer. In 1995, 40% of the merchandise in Target's home assortment sold through at a sale price, he said. By 2000, 97% of Target's home merchandise went out the door at full price.

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