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JC Penney Gets Rid of Sales in Favor of Permanent Discounts — Dollars and Sense [VIDEO]

jburgin, Flickr

For a die-hard shopper, there’s little more frustrating than buying something at full-price, only to see it go on sale shortly thereafter.

To ward that off, retailing giant JC Penney has announced that starting Feb. 1, it’s discounting all merchandise by at least 40 percent — permanently.

The store said Wednesday it’s abandoning the hundreds of sales it typically has every year in favor of a new three-tiered pricing plan: “Every Day” low pricing daily, “Monthly Value” discounts on select merchandise each month, and clearance deals called “Best Price” during the first and the third Friday of each month when many shoppers get paid.

The goal is to remove the guesswork by offering more predictable pricing so customers can rely on getting a deal there no matter what — which will hopefully make them loyal Penney’s shoppers.

The chain is also rolling out an updated logo and a new advertising campaign with popular talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres as its new spokeswoman. In addition, a 96-page color catalog highlighting “Monthly Value” items will be mailed each month to 14 million customers.

The plan, the first major move by former Apple executive Ron Johnson since he became Penney’s CEO in November, is being implemented to try to make Penney’s stores more profitable — and more attractive to younger shoppers, who often see the chain as “boring.”

But Charles Grom, a retail analyst at J.P. Morgan, said it will be difficult to change shoppers’ buying habits. “Shopper fatigue has been building for several years with the advent of the Internet and the ability for shoppers to compare prices,” he said. “If (Johnson) can try to pull this off, it will be impressive. But it’s hard for retailers to change the image of a company. He has a lot of wood to chop.”

Take a look at Penney’s latest television commercial below:

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[Associated Press]

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