Watching Piers Morgan's interview with Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney (JCP), was sort of like stepping into The Twilight Zone.

The CNN host heralded Johnson as the genius behind Apple (AAPL) stores who's now working his magic on J.C. Penney, ignoring the big, fat elephant in the room: Johnson's February makeover of the chain -- which eliminated most sale events and coupons -- has so far flopped, sinking revenues and alienating shoppers.

The media (including this very news outlet), have covered the troubled makeover of the iconic chain ad nauseam.

The story actually started on a hopeful note: Johnson was initially cast as Penney's white knight, the cool kid from Apple -- and Target (TGT) -- who would transform Penney's dowdy image.

But as the no-sale strategy sent sales spiraling and consumers through the exit door, industry pundits started to wonder if Johnson would do irrevocable damage to the 110-year old department store chain.

As for Morgan? No mention of any of this to Johnson.

Instead, the host spoke in semi-breathless tones to the CEO. "You're the turnaround guy," he said, who has set out to "reinvent an iconic institution."

He also spoke about Johnson's star turn at Apple, where he shaped its highly successful retail stores from the ground up, as largely equivalent to the task of reinventing J.C. Penney. "What you did there is very relevant to what you're doing now," Morgan said.

Uh, not necessarily. Creating stores for a trendy, cult-like computer company is very different than reviving an old-line department store that sells everything from clothing and housewares to handbags and jewelry.

Still, Johnson agreed that the "winning-on-innovation" philosophy that turned Apple stores into a hit also sets the stage for a renaissance at J.C. Penney. "We're moving from trying to sell stuff to people to help Americans look and live better everyday," he said.

Meanwhile, over the past few months, Johnson has backpedaled on parts of his drastic turnaround strategy. For one, Penney reintroduced the word "sale" to its vocabulary after shoppers started to defect. But Morgan didn't bring that up.

Johnson then rattled off to the host a list of some of the cool merchandise J.C. Penney has been cooking up, like an exclusive home line from Sir Terence Conran, the British retailer/restaurateur whose modernist, high-brow stores are iconic in the world of home design, as well as Levi's jean shops that are staffed with denim experts akin to the tech gurus at Apple stores' Genius bars.

But is this what Penney's core Middle American shopper wants? Morgan didn't ask.



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I PERSONALLY LOVE THE NEW JCP STORES....MOST ESPECIALLY IT IS SO EASY TO SEE THE PRICE, YOU DON\'T HAVE TO LOOK INSIDE THE GARMENT....SEARCH FOR THE SALES TAG....LOOK FOR A SIGN....LOOK AROUND THE RACK....NOPE ------ THERE IT IS RIGHT UP ABOVE THE GARMENT AND LARGE ENOUGH SO YOU WON\'T MISS IT. I HATE COUPONS TOO BECAUSE BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THE STORE, THE COUPON HAS EXPIRED. GO JCP...YOU\'RE DOING A GREAT JOB MR. JOHNSON. gglg

September 23 2012 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GEN

I PERSONALLY LOVE THE NEW JCP STORES....MOST ESPECIALLY IT IS SO EASY TO SEE THE PRICE, YOU DON\'T HAVE TO LOOK INSIDE THE GARMENT....SEARCH FOR THE SALES TAG....LOOK FOR A SIGN....LOOK AROUND THE RACK....NOPE ------ THERE IT IS RIGHT UP ABOVE THE GARMENT AND LARGE ENOUGH SO YOU WON\'T MISS IT. I HATE COUPONS TOO BECAUSE BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THE STORE, THE COUPON HAS EXPIRED. GO JCP...YOU\'RE DOING A GREAT JOB MR. JOHNSON. gglg

September 23 2012 at 8:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GEN

I PERSONALLY LOVE THE NEW JCP STORES....MOST ESPECIALLY IT IS SO EASY TO SEE THE PRICE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK INSIDE THE GARMENT....SEARCH FOR THE SALES TAG....LOOK FOR A SIGN....LOOK AROUND THE RACK....NOPE ------ THERE IT IS RIGHT UP ABOVE THE GARMENT AND LARGE ENOUGH SO YOU WON'T MISS IT. I HATE COUPONS TOO BECAUSE BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THE STORE, THE COUPON HAS EXPIRED. GO JCP...YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB MR. JOHNSON. gglg

September 23 2012 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
powdershifter

MAKE US DOLLAR PRIME CURRENCY

August 28 2012 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TomHornbuckleJr

You failed to mention the ongoing boycott of the company by Christians offended by their homosexual agenda

August 28 2012 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ErinBliss

What a bizarre interview that must have been! Talk about the elephant in the room.

August 28 2012 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gymbo bogymm

Let's be honest..They stick a known lesbian as s[okesman...np more than 5% of population has that BEHAVIOR....then they get leftsit CEO..anyone from Apple is leftist...and then they try to GET APPLE PRICES without discounts...ever bought5 Apple??? No discounts..add it up??? YOu have a death knell just rinng ang ringing...jere it??? Common snese says..you don't use comtroversial people at front to sell your product when the great majority are NOT Practicing homo's.........you never advertize you'll nener adverize a discount...you never justify paying millions to LEFTIST DEO's and PROTERS!! Miht not like my analysis...but facts speak far more louder than leftist garbage!!

August 28 2012 at 6:24 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
hrinternational1

What would you expect? It's Piers Morgan.

August 28 2012 at 4:00 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Torpecker

Sadly, for their former customers, JCP will more than likely not be able to survive this egomaniac.

Prediction: Sometime next Spring there will be one last JCP Sale - by the Liquidators.

August 28 2012 at 2:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
franjim2

I will never buy from JC Penney again. This CEO has done great damage to JCP.
This CEO should be fired for the damage he's done

August 28 2012 at 1:46 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply