Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson’s time at JC Penney was not a good one for the company. Johnson tried to revamp the retailer’s image from a clearing house for cheap junk sold at discounted prices during an endless spree of “sales” and “coupons” into a refined boutique, a store-within-a-store retail concept similar to the Apple Store.
The result? A $12.99 billion year-over-year decline in revenue that got Johnson fired as CEO after his first year on the job. And if that’s not bad enough, JC Penney is now adding insult to injury by releasing a commercial apologizing for the changes he made.
I’ve been writing for Cult of Mac for almost three years now, and in that time I’ve covered some pretty farfetched Apple rumors. But the latest from Forbes comes with a whole new level of crazy.
“Some Wall Street sources close to some Apple executives” say the Cupertino company could be searching for a replacement for Tim Cook, it claims, before suggesting Cook could turn Apple into another Hewlett-Packard or JC Penney and insisting “Apple’s shine has faded” since the passing of Steve Jobs.
Steam! That’s what Steve Jobs would have had rocket from his ears when he heard about Facebook Home. We’ll explain why on our newest CultCast, but also covet aloud the one feature we hope Apple borrows for iOS. Plus, inside Leander Kahney’s Jony Ive book; Ron Johnson father of the Apple Store takes a boot to the rear; and we wrap with an all new Faves ‘N Raves, the segment where we pitch our favorite tech and apps then vote on which one’s best!
Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.
Here’s some fantastic analysis on what ex-Apple retail chief Ron Johnson did wrong at JC Penney written by legendary Apple ad man Ken Segall, who completely rejects the idea that Ron Johnson didn’t understand JC Penney’s brand identity, and even wandered around quoting the company’s founder, who detested sales gimmicks. So what was the problem?
Despite taking control of Apple just 18 months ago, Tim Cook has been named by CNBC as the highest paid CEO in America. With an average annual compensation of around $95 million, Cook beats Oracle’s Larry Ellison and JC Penney’s Ron Johnson to the top spot.
When former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson took his leave from Cupertino to become the new CEO of JC Penney late last year, there wasn’t as much “WTF-ing” as you might expect. Sure, there was some incredulity as Johnson left the gleaming stores he had founded for JC Penney’s chain of mouldering clothing outlets, but there was also a lot of optimism: if anyone could turn around a business like JC Penney, it would be Johnson.
Johnson may still succeed, but his first moves at rehabilitating JC Penney have been failures. The stock is tanking and JC Penney posted a $163 million loss last quarter alone. Customers, it seems, are not reacting well to the new JC Penney, which eschews sales, circulars, coupons and fine print for plain, honest pricing… the kind of store where all the .99s are dropped from the price tag.
Why? Honest pricing might work for Apple, but in most of the retail word, it appears to be a sucker’s game. Customers, it turns out, only say they want fair pricing. What the really want to do is treat shopping like a game.
JC Penny can’t get enough of Apple’s retail talent, as the American retailer has announced the hire of yet another Apple exec. Back in November, former Apple retail guru Ron Johnson left Apple to become the CEO of JC Penny. Now a high-level Apple retail exec has left to work under Johnson.
Ben Fay served for 8 years at Apple as the worldwide head of retail store design, and he will now be in charge of overseeing JC Penny’s own retail design strategy.
When’s the last time you went shopping at JC Penney versus the Apple Store? The venerable retailer, overshadowed by the cheap-chic of Target, is looking to reshape itself by putting the iPhone maker’s former retail chief in charge. Ron Johnson, a 10-year veteran of Apple’s retail effort, explained the retailer and Cupertino, Calif. tech giant share much in common.
Just under 18 months after its launch, Apple is set to make more changes to its iAd mobile advertising service in a bid to attract more customers. The Cupertino company is hoping to claw back some of the ground it’s quickly losing to Google’s AdMob service by reducing the initial buy-in to iAd, and changing the way in which advertisers pay.