Analyst: JCPenney rebranding ‘worse than we thought’

An analyst’s report on Friday said JCPenney’s bold new strategy to ditch sales for everyday low prices is ‘worse than we (and the market) thought.’ And on Monday, the company announced the departure of its president.

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The company’s bold new pricing strategy—in which it did away with coupons and sales for “month-long values”—is a flop, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Michelle Clark. Last week, Clark issued a note to investors (which Business Insider highlighted on Friday) saying the new strategy is “worse than we (and the market thought).”

This is a rebranding disaster.

Shoppers who have visited the store since Feb. 1, when the new pricing began, observed higher prices as opposed to lower. They also found the company’s branding strategy—dubbed “best prices”—difficult to understand, Clark wrote.

It gets worse. As Business Insider points out, JCPenney’s first quarter profits dropped by 20 percent and traffic at the stores declined 10 percent. Eight out of 10 comments on its Facebook are negative. And on Monday, JCPenney issued a press release saying its president, Michael Francis, will be leaving the company effective today. No reason was given.

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