Apple Guy Show at JCPenney Gets Weirder: the Anti-Coupon Guy Sends Out … Some Coupons

J.C. Penney (JCP) chief Ron Johnson, who used to run retail at Apple (AAPL), has been charging ahead this year with a total overhaul. Central to that is getting J.C. Penney customers to accept “everyday low prices” instead of shopping for deals.

So far, that’s gone… badly.

JCP Revenue Quarterly Chart

JCP Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

Johnson didn’t understand how attached Penney shoppers are to coupons, something he admitted in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.

And now J.C. Penney has sent customers an e-mail with a $10 coupon, the Wall Street Journal reports. A spokeswoman says it’s a “gift,” not a coupon, but analysts aren’t buying it.

In the meantime, the very notion of “everyday low prices” is being attacked. Companies like Sears (SHLD), Amazon (AMZN) and Best Buy (BBY) have been raising and lowering prices on the internet much like airlines do. Adopting a dynamic pricing model may cause shoppers to question whether the “everyday low prices” he wants to sell them exist.

So where does this leave investors? Waiting for Johnson’s ouster? Or a PE ratio that could justify taking a flyer on a troubled turnaround stock?

JCP Chart

JCP data by YCharts

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