NY Post: J.C. Penney’s Johnson pushes vendors to inflate pricing

New York -- In a Thursday report by the New York Post citing unnamed sources, the publication said that J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is pushing some of its vendors to inflate their pricing so that the department store’s retail pricing appears lower than it actually is.

Sources told The Post that the plan includes putting up signs and fixturing to display fabricated retail pricing, while the merchandise is then tagged with J.C. Penney’s own lower prices.

“They want to have a table of sweaters with a sign saying ‘regular price, $30,’ and the price tag will be $22,’” a source told The Post in a hypothetical example.

The sources also said that Johnson is not asking manufacturers to suggest retail markups that are artificially high, but several of the suppliers said that they’ve never made a practice of suggesting retail prices for their wholesale goods to begin with, instead leaving that job to the retailers.

J.C. Penney has not commented on the story, but sources say that the retailer is demanding that manufacturers confirm the suggested retail prices in writing.