After attempting to woo bargain-hunters with 590 sales last year, JC Penney is officially doing away with them. But penny pinchers don't need to fret. The struggling chain's plan is to essentially make every day a sale by marking down all of its merchandise by 40% or more—permanently. "Every Day" pricing is the first big move by CEO/former Apple exec Ron Johnson, and it goes live Feb. 1. While the AP describes it as "simpler pricing," it's actually kind of involved. The store will launch a series of new tags: Red means it's an "Every Day" price, white signifies a "Month-Long Value," and blue indicates a "Best Price."
"Month-Long Values" are the few month-long sales the retailer will continue to have; for instance, with Valentine's Day in mind, jewelry could be discounted during all of February. Underperforming items will be placed on clearance on the first and third Friday of the month; those are the "Best Prices." And as for those prices, it's all about whole numbers: A $19.99 item will now be $19 or $20. The big question remains: Will buyers still think they're getting a great discount without sales? Because Penney's has been relying on pretty major ones: In 2002, an item that cost $10 to make was priced at $28 and sold for $15.80; last year, the sticker price jumped 43% to $40 ... but thanks to sales, buyers paid the bargain price of $15.95. Click for more on Johnson's plans.