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Ron Johnson assembling former Apple retail alumni at JC Penney

post #1 of 30
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After retiring as Apple's senior vice president of retail operations, Ron Johnson is assembling a team of former Apple executives to reinvent US retailer JC Penney, where he now serves as a chief executive.

Johnson, who arrived at Apple from Target in January 2000, is credited with leading the construction of the Mac maker's blockbuster global retail chain, including its innovative features such as Genius Bars, theaters and Easy Pay checkout.

Now, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Johnson is assembling a team that includes former Apple executive Daniel Walker, who served as a "chief talent officer" from 2000 to 2005, and Michael Kramer, who worked as Apple Retail's chief financial officer over the same five year period.

Walker initially recruited Johnson to work at Apple, while Kramer worked with Johnson at Target before both joined Apple ten years ago. Johnson's new team hopes to do at JC Penney something similar to what they accomplished at Apple: building a profitable retail operation.

At JC Penney, Johnson faces new challenges. Unlike Apple, which started its retail operations from scratch a decade ago and organically grew global, JC Penney is already operating over 1,100 stores across the US and Puerto Rico, and has been in business since 1902.
post #2 of 30
...and?!
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

...and?!

the end.

End quote/
post #4 of 30
To paraphrase: "Do you want to sell shirts for the rest of your life or change the world?"

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #5 of 30
So does this mean JC Penny will make their own clothing?
post #6 of 30
Maybe he will take the chain in its own direction, start manufacturing its own clothing lines ala old navy, and mix in a lot of apple retail, employees able to do instant checkout. It would be great to se a complete re-invention of the chain, department stores have not changed much in the last 30 years.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

To paraphrase: "Do you want to sell shirts for the rest of your life or change the world?"

"I've helped changed the world and now I want to sell shirts for the rest of my life!"
post #8 of 30
Revamping a retail chain like JC Penney will be difficult.

Computers, IMO, are far more simple which confounds me how CompUSA went out of business.
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post #9 of 30
Good luck, you will need it.
post #10 of 30
There wouldn't be a reason why they are former Apple executives would there?
post #11 of 30
The section in Steve's bio about the retail venture is one of the best parts in the book; how Steve and Ron built the mock-up store and visit it each week, going over every detail, I wonder if he jumped because there's no more Steve.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

The section in Steve's bio about the retail venture is one of the best parts in the book; how Steve and Ron built the mock-up store and visit it each week, going over every detail, I wonder if he jumped because there's no more Steve.

Ron has about a decade until he retires. You only get a crack at a CEO position once if your lucky or twice or more if you're really lucky. It's Johnson's turn to guide the whole company. It had nothing to do with Steve.
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Computers, IMO, are far more simple which confounds me how CompUSA went out of business.

Sales staff on commission probably. Motivated to sell you the product which gives them the most commission rather than the product you actually need.

There's a chain in Canada called Future Shop which I avoid going to for that reason (don't mind buying from them online, just hate the stores).
 
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post #14 of 30
I see more exciting potential at JC Penney than at Apple, as 2012 beckons, to be really honest about it. JC Penney has huge potential to benefit from improved concept and execution. Apple, nowhere to go but down basically. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Revamping a retail chain like JC Penney will be difficult.

Computers, IMO, are far more simple which confounds me how CompUSA went out of business.

Their selection was terrible. I am not a fan of Best Buy either, but at least Best Buy actually has a nice selection of electronics at terrible prices.
post #16 of 30
From Apple to Jacques Penne ? That has to be a real downer. Except for the mega salary they are getting.
post #17 of 30
Former alumni is redundant.
post #18 of 30
This is a PR move only. JC Penny isn't about to revolutionize sh**! Top alumni brought together. PAAAALEEEEEEEEEEEEESE!!!!
Their inventory of crap is overwhelming. At Apple you could count the money making products on one hand; however,with JCP you'll need a team of dozens to figure what the hell they have. Again, this is pure PR. And I'm sure Wall Street is optimistically cautious about this.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

Former alumni is redundant.


Ha Ha you are correct. Maybe they get excommunicated if they leave Apple to join a team of other former alumnus.

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post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

So does this mean JC Penny will make their own clothing?

From socks, to shoes, to slacks, to braces, to tshirt, to dress shirt and to jacket--we got you covered, I guarantee it...
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Ron has about a decade until he retires. You only get a crack at a CEO position once if your lucky or twice or more if you're really lucky. It's Johnson's turn to guide the whole company. It had nothing to do with Steve.

That is right. Ron did all he could at Apple and as Senior VP, he could not any higher. With JCP, he could reinvent the business and really make a difference. Plus he must have a got a boat load of performance based options that can result in 100s of $Ms.

I would keep an eye on JCP stock and see if their sales accelerate and profit margins start increasing. Also visit the stores and look at their set-up, traffic. More important, I will send the wife to check it out without telling her the reason. I certainly should have listened to her during the Xmas of 2008 when she could not stop going to Dillard.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

Former alumni is redundant.

JC Penney is redundant.
post #23 of 30
Perhaps with all of Ron's chummies leaving Apple Retail, things can start to change to make Apple Retail a better place to work. Because right now Apple Retail doesn't give a crap about it's employees. That's really too bad too. The people who join up to work at a store really want to be great employees working at what should be the best place in the world to work. From what I have seen Fry's is a better place to work.

Someone really needs to go through and fix the crap management in the stores. Perhaps the Apple Union will force change. I hope so.
post #24 of 30
Mr Johnson will some day quit or retire, both of which are the same thing.

He can never accomplish what he did at Apple. JC Penny is neither Apple nor Target. The people he will encounter are people who do not like "change". He is going to encounter innumerable resistance at every level, from management to low level store clerks.

Apple employees are proud of their employer. JC Penney employees, just need a paycheck.
post #25 of 30
JC Penny needs a makeover badly. He is his job out out for him.
post #26 of 30
And as pointed out, it's JC Penny, Not Apple or any other major brand.

I'm sure he will get some things changed, but will they be enough?

If he get's Apple products into the stores, THAT could be a BIG push right from the get-go. An Apple mini-store in each of the larger (not near other Apple stores), could be great for him, JC Penny, and Apple.

If there are 1100 JC Penny stores, it's a safe bet, many are in areas, were there is not an Apple store, and maybe not even a BestBuy?

But t simply re-invent JC Penny's, WILL require a whole new look, feel to the stores, and he'll have to bring something new and exciting to get folks to stop buy and to PURCHASE stuff.

Now IF he worked this out with Steve, and this opens the door to at least 1100 stores to carry the Apple TV, right out of the gate, now this could be good for both parties?

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post #27 of 30
At least at JC Penny if you want some between a tank top (mini) and a suit (Mac Pro) there are lot's of shirts and pants (XMac) to choose from. Or you can buy an all in one jumpsuit (iMac).
post #28 of 30
They have a very uphill battle. Penny's is a stodgy brand.
post #29 of 30
"There's a shirt for that!"

post #30 of 30
"Silk purses, get yer silk purses here . . . no ma'am, it only smells like a sows ear."
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