JC Penney CEO: It may get worse befor...

JC Penney CEO: It may get worse before it gets better

There are 26 comments on the CNN story from Jul 18, 2012, titled JC Penney CEO: It may get worse before it gets better. In it, CNN reports that:

Ron Johnson's experience building and running Apple's formidable retail operation was formative.

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Plano, TX

#1 Jul 18, 2012
I think Ron Johnson might be living a big fantasy. They have million dollar, alcohol fueled parties at headquarters with loud rock bands and a section of the lawn outside covered with a couple of inches of snow in 85 degree temperature. They’re going to have a Harry Potter Weasley magic shop styled center square area of the store that is supposed to have customers lining up at the door at midnight waiting to get it. And I heard rumors that he’s moving JCP headquarters to Silicon Valley.
Ron is Insane

Richardson, TX

#2 Jul 22, 2012
Of course it'll get worse before it gets better. It's the "better" part I doubt. With Ron at the helm, and making the predictions, he's letting Wallstreet know to expect bad news August 8th. "Might" get worse!?!? What a clown. Of course it's getting worse. Read the news.

Escondido, CA

#3 Jul 23, 2012
Ron Johnson displays a typical narcissistic personality.

Carson, CA

#4 Jul 24, 2012
I'm looking forward to november to see how their going to pull it off in bringing customers in to their stores for after thanksgiving shopping. Considering you don't have to be there early because like the commercials said, there's no need to camp out their prices are everyday low prices.

Westwood, NJ

#5 Aug 1, 2012
I think Ron Johnson is too technical saavy for the typical JC Penney customer.

Escondido, CA

#6 Aug 2, 2012
Michael wrote:
I think Ron Johnson is too technical saavy for the typical JC Penney customer.
He may have technical savvy but he is severely lacking in retail knowledge and normal, everyday common sense. He 'bites the hand that feeds him' by continually insulting JCP's core demographic, and actually, Apple products sold themselves with no help from Johnson.
A nony mouse

Woonsocket, RI

#7 Aug 6, 2012
Of course it will get worse... RFID...mobile & self checkout & NO cashwrap! That's awesome for us tech savy...BUT what about all the little old ladies & undocumented aliens who only use CASH???? OF COURSE Ron likes this stuff--he won't have to PAY any humans nor will he have to provide BENEFITS as JCP will be completely robotized.
JCP Specialist

Jonesborough, TN

#8 Oct 11, 2012
When you take the customer service away, then all you have is Walmart, Target, Ross', etc. The customers can always go down the road to another self check out, but the store that has information, patience, and a real person giving customer service is the one that is always going to have steady customers. And yes, they are customers, not guests! Retail is a consumable and we are all consumers but customer service is a quality that goes hand in hand to make retail successful. Customer service is never going to be unneccessary!
Ex JCP customer

Englishtown, NJ

#9 Oct 17, 2012
I am disappointed in the way they've changed their line of clothing...... They've gotten rid of St. John's Bay line of apparel...... it's what kept me going to JCPenney for YEARS. Now that they've gotten rid of it and Glorida Vanderbilt and other lines, their new line just seems too "gimmicky" and "flimsy"..... They also don't fit like the old brands.

Sorry, but by changing your line of clothes, you lost what was a very loyal customer!!!
Former jcp employee

Arden, NC

#10 Oct 23, 2012
What JCP specialist just said on Oct 11 is absolutely right on. Without customer service all you have is another Walmart, Target or K-Mart. It'll be just another impersonal place, no matter how well organized and brightly lit, to get inexpensive clothes in trendy colors and designs made of cheaper fabrics. The good quality reasonably priced classics we counted on are all but gone. Maybe that's the plan - and losing all the old customers who relied on the old JCP standards is an acceptable side effect to courting what is perceived to be a more lucrative younger hipper market. However look at the demographics - the fastest rising population is the older crowd - so as JCP ignores this growing group it leaves room for some enterprising innovator to create a store for US - and we would flock to it and it would prosper!

Kenton, OH

#11 Oct 26, 2012
There is one thing that Ron Johnson has done well so far: he got rid of the inept, ill-sighted untouchables, i.e., the VP's that ran the company prior to his arrival. Those VP's not only encouraged an environment of false perceptions, finger pointing and coverups but they promoted people who were best at it. A VP could have a track record of poor sales and profit for many years but they were never held accountable, hence the term untouchable. They'd just put the blame on the lower ranks and then fire them, "problem solved" they would say. Oh yes, there's been several lay offs prior to Ron Johnson showing up. That environment pushed JCP into a flat spin. Hopefully Ron Johnson can work the controls and get JCP flying straight again.

Phoenix, AZ

#12 Feb 16, 2013
the ONLY reason I every shopped JCP was St. Johns Bay. what an idiot. Perhpas he should have looked at the sales numbers per brand before he completely screwed up the store.
bob haller

Pittsburgh, PA

#13 Feb 17, 2013
has ron done ANYTHING right?

Since: Feb 13

Westfield, IN

#14 Feb 18, 2013
A lot of the comments on this thread are "old news" and a lot of that information is not current. For instance, St John's Bay started to arrive in stores in the men's department in December under the SJB outfitters label. Womens'SJB is slated to return in May 2013.

Many of the above comments are based on gossip and hearsay. The "new" jcp is only 10% completed and many judgements are spoken as if the company has completed the transformation.

Customer service has not disappeared in many of the stores. Some are better at it then others. One could predict that those stores that continue to not embrace the ideas expected in the transformation will have new management within the next months. Any employees who fail to show they have what it takes to bring jcp to the level it is reaching for should expect their hours cut to the point that quitting is a better option.

The company has been working on cutting the "fat' in management and there should be much more to do to complete that goal.

Loved the comment above about RJ being too tech savvy for the typical jcp customer. Those folks have left the ranks or are in the process of leaving due to germ phobia on the hand held devices. That doesn't mean that the totally different type of customer who have begun to show up isn't tech savvy. Those new regulars would not have been caught dead stepping into the "old" JCPenny store.

The atmosphere is changing and the crowds are returning at jcp stores that have worked together to make this transformation become reality. One reads more and more of stores around the country where one sees customers buying and not just trying to find how much clearance one can buy with a coupon.

The stock rooms are starting to fill up with the new spring merchandise waiting for space on the floor. That might mean a new temp shop until the "real" shop is put in.

The numbers being announced next week should not be that great. However, that will be the last time the numbers have to be compared to the year before much had started happening. This year, those who are willing to give up on their negative outlook will be surprised after 40% of the shops are complete.

So, yes, Mr Bob Haller, I would suspect that even you might have to admit that "ron" got more then nothing right by the end of 2013. The next year should be even more surprising.

Now, I will wait to see my judgements made and I don't expect positive ones!
bob haller

Pittsburgh, PA

#15 Feb 18, 2013
So far his management has hurt sales dramatically, fired many long term older workers that were invested in the company, replacing them with part time minimum wage workers, demoralized his workers, irritated his customers and suppliers, had his net sales crash, cut his inventory so that even when customers want to buy something they cant, Elminated larger sizes replacing inventory with stuff for skinny teenagers, elminated promotions / coupons, Ticked off a large number of customers pushing the gay agenda and a boycott, getting his company sued by bond holders and macys over martha stweart, elminated the stock dividend and have the stock drop dramatically, JCP is now the most hated retailer in america. With sales down a specualted over 40% ron admits he must cut workers to right size the workforce. PENNEYS had record profits in 2010 hurt only in 2011 by the higher costs of cotton. Penneys wasnt in failure mode. But Ron was in such a rush he didnt bother test marketing any of these ideas. If he had they would of never seen the light of day. Frankly I dont want to search for someone to check me out. It was far more convenient to go to one of the many registers in the store, than search for a associate who might be off the floor for lunch etc.

Ron has done a wonderful job forcing his once loyal customers to shop other stores like macys and kohls. They must be thrilled.

Need I go on?

Ron has damaged the brand so badly recovery with him in charge will be impossible...

Seattle, WA

#16 Feb 19, 2013
what a year at jcp..whats to come?
lots of money being thrown away,then spent only to replace what was thrown into the garbege
trying new things across the board, only going back to what they use to do
how do they expect to ring up customers that are buying more than one item with hand held devise when theres know counter or bags
cutting the fat is not a good idea at store level that is one place they need it, less than half the fat cut in stores where they are the ones that are trying to make his dream come true - poor guys
jcp employee

Tampa, FL

#17 Feb 19, 2013
As a employee in a JCP store, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. New merchandise looks great! New shops are being added.
bob haller

Pittsburgh, PA

#18 Feb 19, 2013
Has ANY retailern ever recovered from such a large sales drop in such a short time? If so please supply a example. Ron is now slowly putting back much of what he took away..... sales back, some merchandise back like st johns bay. Ron should of test marketed all his changes before rolling them out chain wide. In my local stores service isnt like it used to be pre ron. What few associates on the floor are chained to registers.

The bond holders lawsuit, higher cost of borrowing, the martha lawsuit. may derail any attempt to recover. Ron made it clear by his marketing he didnt want larger customers, didnt want older customers, he wanted thin teenagers, who largely didnt want penneys, if they had sales wouldnt have collapsed.

Future books will be written about how ron killed penneys..


#19 Feb 19, 2013
jcp employee wrote:
As a employee in a JCP store, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. New merchandise looks great! New shops are being added.
I think it looks great and is starting to evolve. The store I work at was packed all weekend.JCP was going to die a slow death the changes had to be made sooner or later.I think many of these posts need to provide new or at least current info.
bob haller

Pittsburgh, PA

#20 Feb 20, 2013
LISA wrote:
<quoted text>I think it looks great and is starting to evolve. The store I work at was packed all weekend.JCP was going to die a slow death the changes had to be made sooner or later.I think many of these posts need to provide new or at least current info.
well the earnings report will be out shortly, it will likely be the bearer of more bad news.

The thing about Ron, from his start at penneys a turn around was always coming soon. I think he lives in a fantasy world and truly believes it.

At some point turnaround will occur once sales have dropped as low as they can go. The problem with that? the company probably cant survive a 50% sles drop. Even slashed overhead will be too much. Borrowing is now more costly. The bond holders lawsuit demanding immediate repayment may drive penneys out of business.

The store within a store may have some merit but beyond that what good has he done? other thn slash costs and elminate customer service?

Shrinkage must be up with so few associates people will feel stealin is safe..

wonder if on is proud that JCP is now americas most hated store......

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