Blog: JC Penney's future takes it back to the past
Leonie Barrie | 21 August 2013
Without naming names, it's clear Ron Johnson's presence continues to loom large at JC Penney.
Time and again on a call with analysts yesterday (20 August) current CEO Mike Ullman referred to "the mistakes of the past" as he tried to explain the department store retailer's dire second quarter performance.
"It's no secret that the company's prior merchandising and promotional strategies weren't working." "There are no quick fixes to correct the errors of the past." "Our top priority...has been...reconnecting with our customer who frankly had lost faith in us."
During his two-year tenure, which ended in April, former Apple executive Johnson hoped to breathe new life into the retailer by focusing on everyday low prices instead of promotions, in-store boutiques, and replacing private labels with new brands.
Customers deserted the store in droves, and since Ullman's return to the helm four months ago he has focused on reversing Johnson's changes step by step - by bringing back promotions, realigning inventories, balancing private brands (like Arizona, and Total Girl) with national ones (Nike, Levi's and Vans), and reinstating popular labels like St John's Bay.
To the cynic, it looks as though the retailer is heading in full-circle, with a strategy that is simply taking it back to where it was two years ago, albeit with even wider losses (US$588m in the second quarter) and slumping sales.
Optimistically, Ullman says despite double-digit declines, second-quarter comps saw a 470 basis point improvement from the last quarter, and sales have improved sequentially month-by-month.
But even he admits: "There are no quick fixes to correct the errors of the past." And even fewer, it would seem, to build the retailer of the future.
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
The European Union (EU) is being urged to adopt a roadmap for Sri Lanka with time-bound measures to comply with core labour conventions before it can regain GSP+ beneficiary status. ...
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Why do modern robotics elude sportswear makers?
- Traditional financing is a misfit for fast fashion
- Trump trade policy – Who knows what he'll do?
- Planning is key to an effective inventory strategy
- Bagir CEO says suit-maker is back on track
- US Q3 in brief - G-III Apparel, Express
- Bagir exports first trousers for H&M from Ethiopia
- Film documents Cambodia garment workers' stories
- Esquel efficiency drive continues to boost brands
- Pakistan suspends India cotton imports
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Footwear Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide_2016
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack