JCPenney (JCP) Pressures Clothing Manufacturers to Set MSRPs in New Pricing Scheme

January 24, 2013 7:55 AM EST
According to the NY Post on Thursday, retailer JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) may be moving back into the artificially inflated pricing arena. The Post thinks that JCPenney might be pushing manufacturers for artificial markups on clothing so that it will be able to offer a discount to shoppers, thus selling more because people will think they're getting a deal.

Then again, JCPenney could just raise the prices from the start and offer whatever discount it saw fit. The Post also said several clothing manufacturers indicated that they never set retail prices in the first place, encouraging retailers themselves to figure it out.

To defer any potential trouble from the practice, JCPenney is asking manufacturers to give out a list of MSRPs in writing.

CEO Ron Johnson -- former head of retail at Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) -- initially wanted to adjust JCPenney's pricing scheme from mark-downs to an "everyday low prices" agenda. The switch sent many JCPenney customers to other retailers. The move was simply good intentions from Johnson, who believed the customers shouldn't be fooled by artificially high prices in the first place.

Ahead of the bell Thursday, JCPenney is indicated for a higher open.

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Clothing - JCP messed up?
Mike Sunderland on 2013-01-24 16:09:23
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By moving to an honest pricing scheme and away from inflating prices only to mark them down in an effort to fool the customer, they messed up? I don't buy that. The customer has an addiction and the only way to cure it is by taking away the drug, artificial discounts. As everyone knows, withdraw is painful and it takes time. They should stick with it and will have a healthy, non-addicted customer in the end.

Carolynn Arnold on 2013-01-24 09:45:51
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JCP really messed up, Cabin Creek was now people like me and missions of others can't find our style. I miss JCP.

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