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Module 4 – Case


Required Reading/Resources

Reingold, J., Jones, M., & Kramer, S. (2014). How to fail in business while really, really trying. Fortune, 169 (5), 80.

Lublin, J. S., & Mattioli, D. (2013, Apr 09). Penney CEO out, old boss back in. Wall Street Journal (Online). Retrieved from ProQuest.

Glazer, E., Lublin, J. S., & Mattioli, D. (2013, Apr 9). Penney backfires on ackman. Wall Street Journal (Online). Retrieved from ProQuest.

D’Innocenzio, A. (2012, January 27). J.C. Penney slashing prices on all merchandise. USA Today. Retrieved from…

Reingold, J. (2012, March 19). Retail’s new radical. Fortune. Retrieved from…

Mattioli, D. (2012, January 26). J.C. Penney chief thinks different. Wall Street Journal.

Mattioli, D. (2012, January 25). How J.C. Penney was minted. Wall Street Journal.

There’s a lot going on at J.C. Penney in recent years. With a new
CEO, J.C. Penney, confronted with pressing competition up, down, and
sideways in the department store wars, is reinventing itself in terms of
merchandising, supply, and pricing strategies. Here we will concentrate
only on the pricing aspects of these new directions. However, this is
ultimately about positioning; trying to find a space that is responsive
to potential customers as well as differentiating the Penney brand from
Target, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s.

These articles shed additional light on the implications of Penney’s new direction:

Berfield, S. (2012, May 24), Remaking J.C. Penney Without Coupons. Bloomfield Business Week.Retrieved from…

Girard, K. (2012, March 5). Is J.C. Penney’s makeover the future of retailing? Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. Retrieved from

Halkias, M. (2011, December 7). J.C. Penney buys stake in Martha Stewart’s company. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved from…

Timberlake, C., & Townsend, M. (2012, February 28). Macy’s says Martha’s dance card is too full.Business Week. Retrieved from…

Case Assignment

A well-written report should have a brief introduction, headings or
subheadings, and a brief concluding comment. Note that you should use
some keywords as headings or subheadings such as “Johnson’s pricing strategy,” instead of a sentence or a question. Read and cite article listed above, supplemented with any other articles related to J.C. Penney, and develop a report addressing following issues.

  1. Briefly describe Johnson’s pricing strategy, also providing background on the company and department store industry.
  2. Explain why Johnson’s pricing strategy did not work. Support your
    position in terms of environmental factors such as economy, the
    competition, and changing consumer behavior.
  3. What do you think Johnson could have done better? Take into account
    J.C. Penney’s segmentation, positioning, and branding strategies to
    explain this issue.
  4. Compare J.C. Penney’s current pricing strategy and Johnson’s pricing
    strategy, based on your research on the most recent situation of J.C.
    Penney. How do you think J.C. Penney would perform in the next five
    years? Take into consideration the relationships between pricing and
    other aspects of the marketing effort such as a change in merchandising,
    logo, atmospherics, use of celebrity spokespersons, and so on.

Assignment Expectations Regarding Your References and Defense of Your Positions

Write clearly, simply, and logically. Your paper should be 750-1500
words long, excluding title pages and references, but quality of writing
is more important than length. Use double-spaced, black Verdana or
Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size.

Back up your positions or opinions with references to the required
reading found in the Module 1-4 Background reading and Ongoing Useful
Resources. In using those references, demonstrate your understanding of
the concepts presented. Rather than grading on how much information you
find, emphasis will be on the defense of the positions you take on the
issues. Also remember that:

  1. The “why” is more important than the “what.”
  2. The defense of your positions on the issues is more important than the positions you take.

Do not repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required reading
to support your opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should
demonstrate that you understand the concepts presented. Do not include
definitions or summaries of the readings or simply describe what the
company did. Instead, your responses to the questions should be
analytical and should demonstrate that (a) you understand the principles
from the background reading and (b) you can apply them to this
particular case. Vague, general answers will not earn a good grade.

Avoid redundancy and general statements such as “All organizations exist to make a profit.” Make every sentence count.

Paraphrase the facts using your own words and ideas, employing quotes
sparingly. Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five

When writing an academically oriented paper, you will uncover many
facts about the product. If you paraphrase the facts, cite the sources
in your text and link those citations to references at the end of the

Here are some guidelines on how to conduct information search and build critical thinking skills.

Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Searching for information. Retrieved from

Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing critical thinking. Retrieved from

Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic writing. Retrieved from

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Retrieved from

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Is it plagiarism yet? Retrieved from

Your paper consists of arguments in favor of your opinions or
positions on the issues addressed by the guidelines; therefore, avoid
the following logical fallacies:

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Logic in argumentative writing. Retrieved from

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