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JC Penney Revisited

I wrote recently about JC Penney’s new pricing policy and my wife’s experience there.

I hoped they won’t muck it up, knowing if they do, no one else will follow their lead away from hyped up sale, sale, sale to a more realistic method of pricing.
My wife went in looking for a new pair of pants. Found some she liked. They were marked $20.00. There were a couple other colors of the exact same pant there, but one was marked $25.00. No sale signs, no discounts, no markings on the tags to let you believe they were anything other than the price marked.
She took one up to the register. It rang up at some incredibly low price, like $10.00. She immediately ran back and grabbed two more colors. One of them also rang up at $10.00, the other at $15.
She had no idea what to expect, whether to complain, whether to walk away happy or just confuzzled. She wondered later how many people had walked away from those pants because they thought the pants were $20.00.
We just got the JC Penney catalog explaining their new pricing policy. Now I am confuzzled. Nothing in the catalog made sense and nothing matched the experience in the store.
A simple lesson here. If you want to go after the Relational Customer, the one looking for an expert she can trust, you have to price your store in way that instills confidence and trust. You do that by clearly marking your actual prices on everything. Do not leave anything to guesswork or wonder.
If you want to maximize your sales, do not let your customer walk away because she thought something was too expensive. Put the actual price on the product. Period.
Unless you want to be like JC Penney…
-Phil Wrzesinski
PS Would you like to learn how to price for maximum sales and profits? Download my free eBook Pricing for Profit. Pricing is all about perception, something I hope JC Penney learns soon.

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