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.
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!
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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?
Now that former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson has been fired from his CEO gig at JC Penney, there’s a lot of talk about whether or not the man who created the juggernaut of Apple’s retail experience will return to Cupertino, to fill the very role he vacated back in 2010.
In an interview with Bloomberg, former Apple CEO John Sculley was asked about what Ron Johnson should do now. Sculley notes that one of the best things about our business culture is that we allow people to fail, and that hiring Johnson would be a coup by any company.
First headhunter on the list? It should be Samsung, says Sculley.
Morale at JC Penney has weakened since Johnson was put in charge 16 months ago. The company has been bleeding money, and Johnson’s retail strategies have not seen success. Johnson’s departure doesn’t come as much of a shock to those who have been following his failed attempts to revitalize the department store chain.
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.
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has today published Apple’s latest trademark certificate, which covers the “distinctive design & layout” of its iconic retail stores. The Cupertino company originally filed for the trademark back in May 2010, nine years after the first Apple store opened its doors in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
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 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:
Apple’s retail stores offer managers and executives great lessons about employee engagement and corporate culture.
One of the interesting points in the recent NY Times article on Apple’s retail stores is that many Apple store employees feel like their work experience goes beyond simply bringing home a paycheck and working in a retail store. Apple has deftly made them feel valued and like they are part of something much bigger than themselves.
In doing so, the company provides a model of how businesses can incentivize staff members even if budgets are too tight to offer raises or other perks. There are four broad areas or lessons that managers and executives at any company or organization can learn from looking at Apple retail – all them related to carefully developing a positive and collaborative corporate culture.