JCPenney unveils plans for drastic overhaul

At an event this morning in New York, J. C. Penney Company Inc. revealed its "plans to become America's favorite store."

In a presentation titled "In Praise of Fresh Air," Ron Johnson, the company's CEO, and Michael Francis, its president, detailed the initiatives that they say "will transform the jcpenney shopping experience by fundamentally re-imagining every aspect of the Company's business and boldly pursuing change."

"The department store is the number one opportunity in retail today," Johnson said. "We are going to rethink every aspect of our business, boldly pursue change, and create long-term shareholder value, as we become America's favorite store. Every initiative we pursue will be guided by our core value to treat customers as we would like to be treated — fair and square."

Effective Feb. 1, the retailer is implementing what it calls "Fair and Square Pricing" — or, as the Consumer Reports blog Consumerist put it, "JCPenney does away with sales in favor of permanent 40% markdowns on all merchandise."

Those markdowns come in the form of a three-tiered pricing structure, which the retailer explained in the launch event:

Everyday, regular prices, which are always great; Month-Long Values, even better prices on the things you need now; and Best Prices, jcpenney's lowest prices, which always happen on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month as jcpenney makes room for exciting new merchandise ... Rather than inundating the customer with a relentless series of sales, coupons, rebates and retail gimmicks, jcpenney will host 12 promotional events each year, on a monthly calendar. Each month will include even better values on the things customers are looking to buy during the month and a host of exciting products and services that are unique to the month.

The retailer also announced a new logo, a new brand marketing plan and a brand partner relationship with Ellen Degeneres.

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