October 3, 2012

I don’t mean to pick on J.C. Penny’s CEO Ron Johnson (blog posts June 21st and July 26th), but the 53 million dollar man recently told investors that Penny has written off 2012, telling them the second half of 2012 would be just as great as the first six months – when they lost $310 million and saw a 21% drop in sales.

Johnson is emphasizing brand names in boutiques within Penney’s stores. But is this what the brand loyal Penny customer wants? Even if you support Ron’s vision, Penney has only rolled out 12 of these boutiques and only plans to have 100 in place by the time the chain’s overhaul is complete, according to announced plans. Given that J.C. Penny’s has 1,107 department stores, changing 10% of the product seems more like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, rather than saving an iconic American brand.

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