MSNBC has the story ‘Fair and square’ pricing? That’ll never work, JC Penney. We like being shafted.
I might add that we like our politics that way, too.
To be a little less cynical, I’ll include this quote from the MSNBC story.
To oversimplify for a moment, here’s Penney’s problem. They told the world that retailers only offer their best prices during crazy sales, and Penney stores would no longer host them. Sensible consumers apparently took that information to heart and decided to simply wait for such sales at other stores. As an added benefit, Penney lowered consumers’ search costs, because they now knew they didn’t need to bother driving to a Penney’s store anymore.
I have seen successful attempts at carrying off the policy of un-“shrouded price tags”. In Dallas, Texas there was a company called Three Day Tire Store. It opened only three days per week. It ran massive newspaper adds full of consumer advice on buying tires. It drew massive crowds of customers, including me. I was happy with my purchase as compared to the shrouded incompetence I experienced buying tires from Sears. I am not so sure about the longevity of the company, though. In the end, there may just not have been enough consumers that wanted an education.