J.C. Penney Raises Prices, So They Can Lower Them.

J.C. Penney still seems to be struggling with how to price its merchandise in a retail world filled with markdowns. First it decided to counter the trend of retailers to offer seemingly everything at heavy discounts with “Everyday Pricing”—a low price every day rather than sale markdowns at different times, for different products. But consumers didn’t bite.

Now it is raising its prices on its own brands, then offering them at a discount—a trick consumers are used to, but hate. And shockingly, they are letting everyone know they’re doing it. Under the strategy, an Arizona crewneck T-shirt that had an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6.The company is doing this in an attempt to protect profit margins and win back the bargain-conscious shoppers it lost last year, according to Reuters.

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

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