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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Johnson’

Thank McFly, JCPenney is Going Back to the Future

And how's that working out?

And how’s that working out?

For those who believe Apple, or anything that hails from it, can do wrong, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Ron Johnson.

He (pictured in this picture showing how long his career was at JCP) is an ousted, former CEO of JCPenney and an unscrupulous hack who believed his deified worship of smarmy hipsters who worked at his beloved Apple genius retail stores would work even better at the home of the Soccer Mom.

Only not so much. His sorely miscalculated ideas of removing all sales items, misreading what customers wanted, not testing his epiphanies in advance and inept acuity to understand the promise and premise of a brand cost him more than his job — it cost him his reputation and just about cost JCPenney its entire existence.

I think what was most telling of the Johnson era was he was rumored to be given a lovely severance package that he by no means deserved. Yet, his golden parachute ran out of the same strings he tried to puppeteer the JCPenney staff while he was there. Fitting for a…um, Johnson.

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J.C. Penney to America: ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me. (Now Please Come Back.)’

Old-school retailer J.C. Penney faces several big challenges moving forward—but executing social media strategy isn’t one of them.

The company fired CEO/former Apple man Ron Johnson in April after a big sales dive and followed his exit with an all-media campaign designed to address the backlash over controversial changes adopted during his tenure. It all started with this apologetic TV spot:

JCP continued the campaign by turning its social media forums into customer service complaint lines, promoting the #jcpListens tag and asking for feedback on Facebook and Twitter in order to absorb frustrated shoppers’ many suggestions on how to improve the business.

The chain didn’t just ask for ideas; it got specific.

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JCPenney Will Cut Your Kid’s Hair for Free

Things have been looking bleak for JCPenney. The struggling retailer lost $147 million during the second quarter, its shares are down 18% so far this year, and some of CEO Ron Johnson‘s recent efforts to resurrect the brand (including a pricing overhaul that replaced coupons and sales with a confusing three-tiered pricing structure) have fallen flat. However, it seems that Johnson had a moment of shear genius in offering free back-to-school haircuts for children during the month of August (painful pun intended).

In fact, the company saw such an influx of shaggy-headed kids in need of a new ‘do that it ended up giving away about 1.6 million haircuts in a single month — substantially more than it had bargained for. Johnson himself admitted the promotion was “far bigger than I expected,” and he has therefore imposed a few new stipulations to prevent the newly reorganized stores from being demolished by a cascading wave of hair clippings when the promotion relaunches. Beginning in November, children may still get their free haircuts, but only on Sundays, and only if they are in Kindergarten through grade 6.

While the hair-cut promotion is undeniably getting people in the door, many wonder whether it will have any real impact on the store’s anemic bottom line.

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Apple PR Fail: Tech Giant Scolds New SVP

Hey, how’s Apple doing? Well, their stock just soared to an all-time high in anticipation of new iPhone and iPad models, and they’re currently the most respected company on the planet according to a recent Barron‘s survey. So yeah, no worries there.

But today we bring you news of a rare PR Fail among Apple’s top brass. John Browett joined the company in January as senior vice president of retail, replacing the lamented Ron Johnson after he left to head aging retailer JCPenney–and the new guy found himself in a bit of hot water this week thanks to a few well-placed rumors and some very dedicated bloggers.

Seems like Browett told some insiders at the company that, in his humble opinion, the celebrated Apple Stores were “bloated” with too many employees. He then shared news of his plans to help them run “leaner” by reducing the hours of part-timers and laying off hundreds of recent hires at branches around the world if they insisted on working more than 32 hours a week. This tough talk quickly came back to bite Browett–hard.  Read more