The decline of a prominent retailer is a lesson to the industry


Brent Renneke, Managing Editor
March 1, 2013
Filed under Brent Renneke

Sales at one of the longest-standing retailers in the United States are nose-diving, and it is seemingly due to their inability to generate excitement.

Following the appointment of a new CEO, J.C. Penney moved to a pricing strategy called “Fair and Square Every Day.” It meant the retailer would have low prices everyday, so there would be no need for any sales.

As it recorded a drop of more than 31 percent in comparable store sales last quarter, it is evident the strategy didn't work for a number of reasons – most of which are detailed in this Harvard Business Review blog.

To summarize, J.C. Penney failed to create excitement around its products in the primary method used by retailers of its kind, which is rooted in the anticipation of events like 24-hour sales and other limited-time offerings.

It is a lesson that underscores the importance of “selling” your product or products beyond the everyday price tag. From product launches to dealership events, it is something the boating industry has done well, and as discretionary income increases in households, such events will be needed to generate the excitement that convinces consumers to use it on a boat.

Whether it is cocktail party and sale on your showroom floor or a champagne toasting as your newest 20-foot runabout is launched, it is convincing people this is the industry they want to be a part of. Like many J.C. Penney customers are now going to Macy’s, we don't want possible boaters choosing an ATV, motorcycle, etc., instead.


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