5. J.C. Penney's Pusher
J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson once referred to coupons as a "drug" habit that his addicted customers needed to break. Well, judging by his surprise e-mail late last week, Ron seems to be the one who cracked.
Johnson sent an e-mail last Thursday to Penney's customers -- the remaining ones that is -- which included a $10 "gift" to thank them for sticking with his struggling department store despite his radical pricing and appearance changes. In case you may have forgotten, J.C. Penney stopped offering coupons back in February in favor of an approach that stresses everyday low prices.
The coupon, er, sorry Ron, gift can reportedly be used for an in-store purchase until Nov. 4 and can be applied to purchases of $10 or more. As to why Johnson didn't extend the promotion through the all-important Black Friday weekend, we have no idea.And that's not the only question dogging Johnson's curious coupon campaign...Darn! Forgive us. We called it a coupon again, even though J.C. Penney spokesperson Kate Coultas specifically told the WSJ that "this invitation is in no way a reflection of a departure from our fair and square everyday low prices." Wait Kate! Is it an "invitation," a "gift" or a "drug"? Now we're really confused. And we're apparently not the only ones puzzled by the real meaning behind Johnson's latest ploy. Oppenheimer's analyst said Friday that Johnson's maneuver, however desperate, is not a return to its prior promotional strategy, while Deutsche Bank's analyst put a note out proclaiming, "$10 Off Is A Coupon In Our Book." "With all the changes taking place in our stores, the question I hear most often is: 'What's your vision for jcpenney?'" wrote Johnson in the e-mail. Really Ron? That's the question you hear most often? Wow, the one we hear most is: What on earth is this joker doing to a once-proud American company?
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV