the news that JCP ousted their controversial CEO Ron Johnson earlier this week. But this Point of Sale blog post breaks it down better than any other account I've read: JCP stores needed a turnaround - not a reinvention - and Johnson is a reinvention guy.
As a reminder, Johnson is the guy credited with reinventing retail twice in his career:
first as the Target executive who helped create its “cheap chic” persona,
and second as the Steve Jobs’ co-partner behind Apple’s famed retail
So why couldn’t Johnson work his magic on JCPenney? Because JCP needed a turnaround guy, not a reinvention guy. Turnaround and reinvention are not necessarily the same things. Apple and Target were already successful companies when Johnson worked there, and his ideas helped keep them on top. But JCP was entirely a different matter. Growth was stagnant. Shelves
were messy. Identity non-existent. But all for its problems, JCP was a a
financially stable company with a core group of loyal customers.
Problem is, Johnson didn’t see much in the old JCP worth
preserving. That's why his broad, sweeping changes - including getting rid of sales and coupons - alienated JCP's customer base and ultimately led to his demise. Not even borrowing old Target tactics - like hiring the Bulleye's former ad agency and adopting a "shops within a store" model - could salvage the situation.