Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Its On Sale...

U.S., Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Most of us shoppers, and that appears to be the majority of us people, thrive on sales.  We seek the best price even to the point that we’ll drive all over the community consuming high-cost fuel (or spend hours on the Internet) looking at this price and that price to be sure we’re getting the best deal.  Of course, it has become more and more difficult to find the exact match in products from one spot to another since manufacturers and corporate buyers got smart and made minor changes so there often isn’t a true comparison possible.

I have worn out my verbalized observation by making it so many times, but…has anyone anywhere ever really paid full retail price for anything but, maybe, cologne in a Kohl’s Department Store for the past five years?  With Kohl’s coupons, even cosmetics can be found on sale.

Against that backdrop, Penny’s hired a new CEO a year ago who proceeded to declare the end of ‘sales’, and who claimed Penny’s was, from that point on, going to have everyday low prices that were competitive with anyone else.  My bride questioned that tactic by saying everybody at least likes to think they’ve saved money when they purchase something, but later she indicated that the new prices were “really good”. 

Guess what?  Penney’s has just announced that they will resume ‘sales’ in their stores.  They’ll also begin showing how much was saved by new signage.  From the description of this new strategy, it sounds like the new CEO finally might have visited a Kohl’s Department Store and then read their corporate results and decided that maybe he had taken his company down a bad patch of road.

Penny’s stock price is off by more than half and its credit ratings are at the point of being considered ‘junk’.  We’ll see if shoppers catch on and begin to return to his stores before Penney’s faces real survival issues, or if this will be seen as having been a bad idea that cost the company dearly.

It isn’t unheard of for a company to make a new CEO hire only to lament what it did a year or two down the road after sales fall off and profits suffer or disappear altogether.  Corporate Boards can make mistakes, too.

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