Penney returns to 'sales'
J.C. Penney Co.’s new chief executive, Ron Johnson, told analysts Tuesday the department store chain is resurrecting the word “sale,” the latest change it’s making to reverse a sharp drop in customer counts and sales. Investors were spooked even more, driving shares down 3.96 percent. The stock has declined since early February, when analysts became bearish about the chain’s new pricing plan. Penney eliminated hundreds of sales events in favor of a three-tier pricing plan offering everyday prices (40 percent lower than a year ago), monthlong values (discounts on select items) and Best Fridays (clearance events). The plan ended up confusing shoppers. “We’re moving away from the word ‘monthlong value’ because no one really understood .?.?. what we intend to do,” Johnson said. “It’s a sale.”