The 10 Weirdest Things J.C. Penney's CEO Told Wall Street Last Week

CEO Ron Johnson
By Jim Edwards

J.C. Penney just had one of its worst quarters ever: Sales declined 23 percent to $3 billion, same-store sales fell 22 percent, and internet sales sank 33 percent to $220 million.

It's all the fault of CEO Ron Johnson, who embarked on a disastrous relaunch of the company in January which confused customers and drove them away from stores.

When was the last time you shopped at JC Penney?
Within the past two weeks1 (20.0%)
Within the month1 (20.0%)
I went once or twice this year1 (20.0%)
More than a year ago1 (20.0%)
I do not shop at JC Penney1 (20.0%)
To halt the collapse, Johnson was forced to turn off all its TV ads, cancel a July catalog that was already printed, and scrap July's newspaper coupons.

On his conference call with Wall Street analysts, Johnson described his vision for getting the chain back on track in the remaining months of the year. He intends to redesign every store so that it features up to 100 small "shops" set along a "street," like an internal mall. Checkouts will take a back seat to roving staffers carrying iPads, who will execute cashless transactions. "It will be just like Apple: boom, boom, boom," he said.

In describing the plan, Johnson flipped back and forth between delusional cheerleading and upfront confessions of his mistakes. What follows are all direct quotes from Johnson, from the transcript of the call:


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