Bob Blatchford, JC Penney employee quoted in the article:
"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."
Brad Tuttle for Time, quoted in an entry from April:
But shoppers aren’t purely logical creatures. They’re often drawn to stores not by the promise of fair pricing, but by the lure of hunting for deals via coupons and price markdowns. It’s all a game, and a contrived one at that. But it’s a game that shoppers are accustomed to playing, and that many — consciously or not — like playing, with the “How Much You Saved” line at the bottom of the receipt serving as a score.
JC Penney customers rejected fair pricing so thoroughly that Ron Johnson was fired. They asked to be lied to so that they could play the sale savings game. They're getting exactly what they want.
(Via The Loop)