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Plano-Based JC Penney Brings Back Sales, Coupons To Win Back Customers

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - After losing big money and customers, Plano-based JC Penney is touching up its plans for a total makeover.

Under CEO Ron Johnson, the legacy department store adopted an everyday pricing strategy last year, and turned away from aggressive sales.

But at a retail conference today, the chief financial officer signaled a change.

“We’ve learned the customer prefers a sale. We hear our customers loud and clear and we’ve got to do this in a way that allows us to attract the core customers who lost confidence in us.”

They also want to win over new customers like Trina Delcupolo. “I’m not an everyday shopper here ever.”

Penney’s is transforming its stores and merchandise.

Hannah says some items like lady’s denim and khakis will return along with coupons and sales.

But Terri Moltzen prefers the everyday pricing. “I feel like everytime I came in here to buy something the price that’s on the tag is the cheapest price it’s going to be so I don’t need to worry about watching for it to go on sale.”

Mike Davis, an economics professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business, says JC Penney is still trying to figure out what customers want. “The problem with JC Penney, and every retailer is they don’t know what they need to be and what the new model is going to look like. It’s a bigger problem at JC Penney because frankly they were closer to the edge.”

Penney’s lost $1 billion last year.

Last week, former CEO Allen Questrom criticized the board of directors for sticking with their strategy.

But Wednesday, Hannah said lesson learned. “We certainly made our mistakes. I think Ron has stood up and accepted full responsibility and accountability for the 2012 results. It’s unacceptable.”

A source familiar with the company tells me the mood among employees is split. Some like the company’s new direction. Others though remain very concerned about the store’s future.

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