J.C. Penney resumes old pricing strategy

Plano, Texas -- A Tuesday report by Reuters said that embattled J.C. Penney Co. has recently revived its previously abandoned pricing strategy of raising prices on its own brands then discounting them as a way to spike sales and margins.

Citing an emailed statement by Penney spokeswoman Daphne Avila, Reuters reported that the retailer began changing price tags on merchandise earlier in March and expects to complete the process in April.

"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," Avila wrote in the statement.

Penney's brands include St. John's Bay, jcp, Stafford and Arizona. The lineup of private labels is said to generate more than half of Penney’s revenue.

In February, CEO Ron Johnson announced an impending pricing strategy change, but didn’t provide details. He acknowledged that abandoning its long-time markdown and couponing practices was a mistake.

In other Penney news, VP strategic marketing Lisa DeStefano-Orebaugh has departed to take the VP marketing and brand management position for Home Depot. According to Bloomberg, DeStefano-Orebaugh hasn’t yet started her new position with Home Depot.

Her departure marks the third high-profile marketing exit in less than a year. CMO Michael Francis resigned in June, and SVP creative marketing Greg Clark left in October to take the marketing helm at Jones Group.