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For Penney’s Heralded Boss, the Shine Is Off the Apple

Posted on March 3rd, 2013 at 12:02 by John Sinteur in category: Apple -- Write a comment


As he toured a J.C. Penney store before undertaking one of retailing’s most ambitious overhauls, Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson bristled when a colleague suggested that he test his new no-discounts strategy at a few stores before rolling it out at all 1,100.

“We didn’t test at Apple, ” the executive recalled Mr. Johnson, hired away from the gadget maker, saying.

Seven months later, sales at the new Penney had dropped by double-digits.

Well, yeah. Apple doesn’t discount because they sell stuff that people really, really want and that they can’t get anywhere else. And they don’t test because Steve Jobs refused to.

  1. Sales may be down, but the question is: what happened to margins and to profits. Neither one is even mentioned in the text of the article. Baffling. The graph gives an indication that bottom line is negative, but not more so than before Johnson.

  2. @Desiato: JCP’s numbers are horrible, all of them. Difficult position being the “middle-class” retailer when the middle-classes are not spending money. The company is in the middle of a “transformation” – but probably not the one that was envisioned.

    As John says, Apple were selling unobtainium – probably this guy isn’t a genius, he just used to work for one.

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