Photo: Scott Olsen / Getty Images
Credit is big in retail, and workers are under all kinds of pressure to hit their quotas. They have to find ways to give customers incentives to apply for credit, such as offering a discount.It was no different at JCPenney, but with former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson now at the helm, management is cracking down on once-common, and unsanctioned, practices.
We spoke with a former JCPenney commissioned sales associate in the shoe department who was laid off as part of a slew of firings last week. We’ve withheld her name at her request.
She describes the situation with credit applications (emphasis ours):
“Associates, and stores, have a quota of applications to achieve. The customer receives a discount for an “approved” credit application. The discount was a 10% 24 hour shopping pass before Ron Johnson; it has increased to 20% since then.
It was common practice for an associate to give the customer a percentage discount on the purchase being made at that time regardless of the approval/denial status of the application. Associates offered the discount so they could get the application, earn their $2.00, and meet their quota.
This was a known, but unsanctioned, practice. My former supervisor, under stress from upper management, actually told our department to do “whatever we had to” in order to get applications. Most of the supervisors in my store had once been associates and had to have been aware of the unauthorised discounts.
Recently, long-time associates were called into Loss Prevention and confronted about this practice. One man said “they called me a thief“.
Most of those confronted have since been let go or have left of their own accord.”
Did this happen to you? Shoot an email to [email protected].
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