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

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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 weeks3879 (15.0%)
Within the month3367 (13.0%)
I went once or twice this year7756 (30.0%)
More than a year ago6396 (24.7%)
I do not shop at JC Penney4491 (17.3%)
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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Nanette Dupre

Sounds like a typical genius at work to me. Nobody ever understands, or appreciates, a genius until it all turns golden. Then suddenly everybody is "oh I knew he was brilliant." Ya right, sure you did. Fail number two in this article is that JC Penney's really is getting BETTER & BETTER. The new catalogs are gorgeous and we keep them around for inspirational reading in the bathroom at our house. BTW, I am 63 and my daughter is 27. WE ADORE JC Penney stores. In fact, I was online just today looking at their furniture pages. Easy to shop, great deliver service, etc. Ya, sure, once in a while something doesn't work out , fit color, or whatever, but, there is never a problem with returning something. If that's not enough proof, let me tell you another success store regarding shopping at JC Penney stores in my area. My niece got married a couple years ago and created several wedding gift registries around town. I checked out all the lists of items and many were out of stock at the stores where she registered, however, I was able to find items of similar or, in most cases, BETTER QUALITY AT CHEAPER PRICES at JC Penney. So, I ordered all our shower presents and wedding gifts from JC Penney's online store. A few days later I picked them up at the store, easy as pie, piece of cake, and she was extremely happy with them all. Luck? Maybe a little. But, when it came to another wedding in the family you know where I shopped. Right! JC Penney's.

December 03 2012 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rod1sellers

I was always a jc Penneys customer. Most of my clothes was from Penneys. They used to have great advertising but not anymore. Penneys is on a downward move. Going out of business soon. WHY ?
Rod S Flint Mi

August 20 2012 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ajt1025

Don't like shopping at JC Pennys any more. Now with the self checkout coming soon it will make me even less likely to shop there. I don't know how these so called educated over paid people come up with ideas on how to cut cost by getting rid of jobs? I believe with the thinking that the last and new CEO, will see JCP go by the way side like so many other department stroes. It's not going to take much to do it either.

August 14 2012 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
danelaura

I don't think he understands his customer base. When was the last time he was actually in a store? The base is older, aged 45+...does he really think that they want to run around looking for someone holding an ipad for checkout? My mother couldn't even tell you what an ipad looked like....

August 14 2012 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Jared

i dont know why they are surprised. they spent a month screaming at their customers.

who wants that?

August 14 2012 at 9:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PEP PEPMILLER

They will be out of business in next 8 years.

August 14 2012 at 8:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
meenu002

i just started shopping at jcp's in january--i LOVE it. their prices are fantastic-you don't need a coupon to get a good deal. kohl's is horrible-their mark-up is like 500% then they put it on sale and give you a coupon so you think you're getting a good deal...

August 14 2012 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to meenu002's comment
Greg

EXACTLY! I don't understand why people don't get that! I never shopped at JC Penney in the past. Now, because of their new pricing, I do.

August 14 2012 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne

This guy is not real quick, is he??

August 14 2012 at 7:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mike edwards

hey with the wrong person running things just look what is happening to the us the credit ratings are dropping and the economy is dropping the country is in trouble not just jcp now lets focus on the problem instead of blaming other people they should look in the mirror and bl;ame themselves ammen

August 14 2012 at 7:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mike edwards

this store stopped i havent been in that store in over a year its like it dropped off the face of the earth too bad they let people of this mentality run the store

August 14 2012 at 7:24 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply