Some of JC Penney's Sales Misleading, Say Employees - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Some of JC Penney's Sales Misleading, Say Employees

Photo courtesy: MGN Online Photo courtesy: MGN Online

NBCNEWS.COM - A warning for bargain shoppers: Is your favorite retailer misleading you with those big sales? We've reported on this before, and now we're back with a new development.

We all love a good sale, and when you see that sign — 20 percent off, 30 percent off, 50 percent off — you assume you're getting a deal. But we found that sale price may not be a deal at all.

We first told you about this last month. Well, right after that story aired on TODAY, store insiders emailed me, speaking out against one of the country's most popular retailers. And what they say may change the way you shop.

The allure of the sale: prices too good to pass up. And we eat it up. But now, two JC Penney employees say some of those amazing bargains aren't bargains at all.

A few months ago JC Penney changed its pricing model, from everyday low pricing to sales. The company says that's what customers wanted. But these employees say JC Penney was really just artificially inflating prices, then putting those same items on sale.

Gena Stone says she did it when she worked at a JC Penney in Virginia. "All of a sudden, the rack of $7 shorts became $14, and then they were 50 percent off."

"What did you say to your bosses when they asked you to do this?" we asked.

"They said it was coming down from corporate in Texas," Gena told us.

"Were you comfortable doing it?" we asked.

"No." Gena replied.

Gena quit the store after six months. Bob Blatchford still works at JC Penney, at a store in Florida. He told us, "I saw a lot of pricing teams going through the store, raising the prices, mostly doubling — towels and clothing."

"Double the price?"

"That's right. Then they would go on sale, and they wouldn't always go on sale for 50 percent off," Bob said. "So it was— not only was it a fake sale, but they were actually paying more than they would have been previously."

"These customers think they're getting a good deal," we said.

"Right. And they're not."

At JC Penney, we found a Dyson vacuum cleaner advertised on sale. Regular price: $725. Sale price: $649. It sound like a great deal, but we checked with the manufacturer: Turns out that sale price is the same as the suggested full price.

"How widespread is this?" we asked Priya Raghubir, a professor of marketing at New York University who says many retailers use those "sale" signs to lure us in.

"I think it's very widespread," she told us. "You feel smart, you feel happy, and you feel you've got a great deal."

"Are stores playing on our emotions?" we asked.

"Yes, stores are completely playing on our emotions," she said.

In a statement, JC Penney told us all its items put on sale must be "previously sold at ... regular price for a reasonable period of time" — and its pricing model is common in the retail industry.

"I don't think what they're doing is right," Gena Stone said. "And it's to their detriment."

We asked Bob Blatchford why he emailed us and decided to come forward. "You could lose your job for this," we pointed out.

"Because I thought it was wrong and I thought the public had a right to know," Bob said. "And I don't think Penney's will survive if they keep doing this."

So how do you know when a sale is really a good deal? Here's the takeaway. Before you buy anything, ask the store clerk: Was this product ever sold at the regular price? And how long has it been on sale? If it's been on sale for a while, that's a red flag.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • CdA parents concerned over Zipfizz sale; school district responds

    CdA parents concerned over Zipfizz sale; school district responds

    Monday, October 22 2018 10:46 PM EDT2018-10-23 02:46:38 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Ashley Bales says her daughter came home from school one day and told her about classmates at Woodland Middle School selling something she was concerned with, Zipfizz. "With my daughter having a preexisting health conditions it got me concerned for other kids in the same position to be being sold that without their parents having knowledge of it," Bales said.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Ashley Bales says her daughter came home from school one day and told her about classmates at Woodland Middle School selling something she was concerned with, Zipfizz. "With my daughter having a preexisting health conditions it got me concerned for other kids in the same position to be being sold that without their parents having knowledge of it," Bales said.

    >>
  • Suspect from fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake arrested

    Suspect from fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake arrested

    Monday, October 22 2018 10:05 PM EDT2018-10-23 02:05:30 GMT

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - A suspect from a fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake last Thursday has been arrested. After the suspect vehicle was towed to the Liberty Lake Police Department, a search warrant was executed with the assistance of Washington State Patrol. Based on evidence collected, police developed probable cause to arrest 21-year-old Pavel Kanyushkin.

    >>

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - A suspect from a fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake last Thursday has been arrested. After the suspect vehicle was towed to the Liberty Lake Police Department, a search warrant was executed with the assistance of Washington State Patrol. Based on evidence collected, police developed probable cause to arrest 21-year-old Pavel Kanyushkin.

    >>
  • Changes to Washington overtime rules could increase worker eligibility

    Changes to Washington overtime rules could increase worker eligibility

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 1:24 AM EDT2018-10-23 05:24:23 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Proposed changes to Washington state's overtime rules could make more professional workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay. The Spokesman-Review reports a draft concept by the state Department of Labor and Industries proposes overtime eligibility for workers earning up to $74,800 in 2019. The proposals are linked to a multiplier of the state's minimum wage, which will increase to $12 per hour next year and $13.50 per hour in 2020.   

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Proposed changes to Washington state's overtime rules could make more professional workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay. The Spokesman-Review reports a draft concept by the state Department of Labor and Industries proposes overtime eligibility for workers earning up to $74,800 in 2019. The proposals are linked to a multiplier of the state's minimum wage, which will increase to $12 per hour next year and $13.50 per hour in 2020.   

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones, Infowars

    Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones, Infowars

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-10-23 04:56:07 GMT

    (AP) - Twitter says it has removed accounts linked to conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and Infowars. A Twitter spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the accounts had been removed. There was no additional comment from the company. Twitter permanently suspended realalexjones and infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September. 

    >>

    (AP) - Twitter says it has removed accounts linked to conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and Infowars. A Twitter spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the accounts had been removed. There was no additional comment from the company. Twitter permanently suspended realalexjones and infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September. 

    >>
  • Supreme Court: Ross can't be questioned in census suit

    Supreme Court: Ross can't be questioned in census suit

    Monday, October 22 2018 8:43 PM EDT2018-10-23 00:43:44 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross does not have to give out-of-court testimony about his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The order Monday comes in response to lawsuits filed by more than a dozen states and big cities, among others, that challenge whether the citizenship question can be legally included.  

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross does not have to give out-of-court testimony about his decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The order Monday comes in response to lawsuits filed by more than a dozen states and big cities, among others, that challenge whether the citizenship question can be legally included.  

    >>
  • Judge upholds Monsanto verdict, cuts award to $78 million

    Judge upholds Monsanto verdict, cuts award to $78 million

    Monday, October 22 2018 8:41 PM EDT2018-10-23 00:41:30 GMT
    Cropped Photo: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0Cropped Photo: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A Northern California judge has upheld a jury's verdict finding Monsanto's weed killer caused a groundskeeper's cancer, but she slashed his $289 million award to $78 million. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos ruled Monday A San Francisco jury's August verdict included $250 million in punitive damages, which the judge said was too high.

    >>

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A Northern California judge has upheld a jury's verdict finding Monsanto's weed killer caused a groundskeeper's cancer, but she slashed his $289 million award to $78 million. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos ruled Monday A San Francisco jury's August verdict included $250 million in punitive damages, which the judge said was too high.

    >>