Ron Johnson is taking the lessons he learned from Steve and applying them to JC Penny
Even though Steve Jobs gets credit for making the gutsy move to open Apple retail stores across the country, Ron Johnson deserves a lot of praise for the Apple Store’s success.
Johnson’s vision helped Steve create the most successful chain of retails stores on the planet. Then Johnson left to become the CEO of JC Penny, where he’s faced some heavy criticism for his efforts to revitalize the brand. According to Apple’s old marketing guru Ken Segall, Ron is a visionary in his own right, and he’s transforming JC Penny just like Steve Jobs transformed Apple.
Apple has a reputation of excellent customer service. You can walk into an Apple Store and get your device fixed. You can play with an iMac or iPad in the store for an hour without a salesman trying to push you into buying.
Apple usually dominates customer satisfaction polls for physical retail locations, but their Apple Store website may need some help. Even though Apple is the most popular tech company in the world, in 2012 Apple’s ForeSee satisfaction score actually dropped.
When Ron Johnson left Target to become Apple’s Retail Chief in 2000, people thought he was absolutely nuts. Apple was in danger of going out of business, and other PC manufacturers like Gateway were closing their retail locations. Johnson ignored all the warning signs because he says he saw that Apple was about to be a huge part of the digital revolution. He also recognized that Apple offered consumers something other companies couldn’t – amazing products and an incredible retail experience.
In a recent interview at Fortune Conferences, Johnson explained why customers choose to come to the Apple store to buy their products when they could get them on Amazon or Best Buy for a lot cheaper: