» The problem — no coupons? Analysts are skeptical about whether consumers will actually respond to the changes Johnson’s making — particularly because they’ve been trained to use coupons. ”I am very skeptical as to whether he (Johnson) understands that the J.C. Penney customer is looking for value and perceives value only with couponing,” says Walter Loeb of Loeb Associates, who feels that competition with Macy’s is making J.C. Penney’s position tough to keep.
The establishment folks in Washington, D.C., they’re in the bubble and they see the world very, very differently than we do and I think most Americans do. And we’re going to continue to go out and try to elect conservatives to the presidency and that’s what we’re focused on.Rick Santorum • Responding to political types suggesting he should drop out, days before the Wisconsin primary. Santorum says he’s in it until Mitt Romney clearly has enough delegates to win — something that likely won’t happen until June, based on how things are going so far. Romney just won another endorsement, this time from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (no relation), a show of support that has Santorum on the defensive.
I chose J.C. Penney because I think it’s the single biggest opportunity in American retailing. Inherently, department stores have significant advantages compared to all other retailers. Yet, our productivity is at the low end, and that just doesn’t make sense.J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson • Remarks in an interview with the AP’s Anne D’Innocenzio. Johnson made news in the world of department store retail when he first took over, announcing a reduction in unique sales events coupled with a 40% across the board price cut. In this interview, he expands a bit on his plan for J.C. Penney’s future; he mentions his time with Apple frequently in the interview, as a reference point for the sort of modern imaginings that may be to come. It’s worth remembering that Johnson was the brain behind the Apple Store, the “Genius Bar” in particular, which we think says a lot about his insight on balancing design, efficiency and customer service in a retail setting. Apple just found their replacement for Johnson, John Brownett, but with the legacy he left there, we wonder how long it will be until they wish they had him back on board. source (via • follow)
» Fewer sales, lower prices: A old retail vehicle tunes up. Department store mainstay (despite years of underperformance) J.C. Penney is making some big changes. New CEO Ron Johnson, who formerly headed Apple’s retail division, is looking to fix a pricing and sales structure that has neither kept J.C. Penney competitive, nor has helped their bottom line. Johnson’s desire to cut down on the volume of smaller, unique sales is sort of a no-brainer; he says despite the company’s prior 590 promotions per year, the average customer visited only four times, meaning “customers ignored us 99% of the time. At some point, you, as a brand, look desperate if you have to market that much.” Johnson cut that unique promotions number from 590 down to … 12. Wow.