J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is walking back his plan to revolutionize box-store retail, with the chain reviving the regular sales and discounts he once disparaged. The Apple Stores he previously ran might be able to survive without discounting, but for regular retailers, cut-priced promotions are a vital way to get consumers' attention. "I thought people were just tired of coupons and all this stuff," he says. "The reality is all of the couponing we did, there were a certain part of the customers that loved that."

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