Whitney Tilson’s Kase Capital teamed up with Langer Research Institute to carry out a survey on the popularity of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). Bill Ackman is the largest shareholder of JCP with an 18 percent stake. Whitney Tilson, who is also a longtime friend of Ackman, has reopened his position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) this Monday,  after exiting it back in June 2012, he  disclosed to ValueWalk.  The results of the survey find that current and lost customers could be enticed back if J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) turned its business and pricing back to the old ways.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) Poll

Of the 1000 adults who were polled, 29 percent were current shoppers, 24 percent said that they were former shoppers, whereas 46 percent said that they had not shopped at J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP).

According to the results of the survey, about 62 percent of current shoppers of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) will buy more at JCP if it brings back its old pricing policy and assembles the same items in its stores as it did before. 54 percent of the ex-shoppers said that they could be motivated to come back. The numbers may seem hopeful but they are not very exciting if J.C. Penney is looking to achieve the same number of customers as it had in past. Among those who have been to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) stores in the recent years, 45 percent say that they don’t do so anymore while 39 percent say that it is unlikely that they will be motivated to shop there again.

Of the current shoppers, 33 percent visit the store at least once a month whereas 22 percent spend over $100 on each visit.

Ron Johnson replaced the coupons and sale price policy of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) when he took charge. The retail chainstore has lost more than half of its market value since then and has consistently reported losses. The survey concludes that current and former shoppers could be motivated to shop more at JCP if the company returns to its old policies, however that may not be the only way to achieve more sales.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has recieved some good and bad news together in the past weeks. Legendary investor George Soros invested some $300 million in the company by raking up a 8 percent stake, and JCP also got a $1.75 billion loan committment from Goldman Sachs. However the company’s debt was cut to junk by Moody’s recently, and the rating agency said that the company is burning cash reserves faster than it can acquire any. JCP has a severe shortfall of cash to run day to day operations.

The 8th Annual Value Investing Congress is taking place on May 6-7 in Las Vegas. Whitney Tilson is the co-founder of VIC.

Note: The article was amended to reflect that Whitney Tilson has a position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) now.