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Ron Johnson sticking with J.C. Penney’s new pricing strategy; will test RFID tags on merchandise


New York -- J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson said that he is sticking with the chain’s new pricing strategy and that the company’s board of directors was “totally supportive.”

In remarks at Fortune magazine's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Col., Johnson acknowledged that J.C. Penney initially confused customers when it came to explaining the new pricing strategy.

"Our execution wasn't what we needed," he said, according to a Reuters report. "Our pricing is kind of confusing. Our marketing kind of overreached."

Johnson also highlighted some of the improvements he is bringing to the stores. He announced that the chain was replacing its outdated technology infrastructure with an Oracle-based system (see related story), and, beginning this fall, would start to test the use of RFID tags on store merchandise. Other planned enhancements include the use of self-checkouts and mobile checkouts. All stores will be equipped with Wi-Fi.

The J.C. Penney chief executive told the audience he was a strong believer in physical stores. He said that online retailing would level off similar to the way catalog shopping did a few decades ago.

"Online retail is going to level off by category, by business," Johnson said.

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