March 1, 2013

Regular readers of my blog know that I am no fan of J.C. Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson. I believe that over the past year this over compensated executive has disrespected the traditional “value driven” J.C. Penney customer by trying to turn them into “status seeking” consumers willing to pay more for name brands that offer no extra value. Now, you don’t have to listen to my rant, you can just look at the numbers. Overall sales are down $4.3 billion. That’s how much sales dropped since February 1 when the former Apple executive arrived. For the full fiscal year, Penney had a loss of $985 million, compared to a $152 million loss the year before he arrived.

Last August Penney sent a survey to its database of 15 million customers; 67% of the response was negative, particularly on the topics of coupons, sales, prices, merchandise and advertising, according to a recent Wall St. Journal story. You might not like your current customer, but it is very hard to get new ones when you don’t respect the ones you have. Mr. Johnson will not be CEO one year from now.

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