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Former Apple retail chief under fire as JC Penney stock plummets - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I'm not so sure that Johnson was moving too quickly, however, from what he said, the advertising company jcp is using was ineffectual in communicating the change. Now, I don't know if he was just scape goating the ad agency, or this was the opening shot to replace the existing as agency for one that is going to more effectively carry the message. The latter is more likely. 

The new ads that I saw around the end of 2011 were much more captivating than the usual jcp ads, which never left an impression in my memory. Also the catalog sent out via the mail was much more memorable. So much so, that I saved it for reference.

If a company scapegoats its agency then it's basically admitting that it has an incompetent marketing department since nothing would make it to air without the express approval of the JCP folks. A retailer that doesn't understand it's customers deserves to fail.

That said, investors will probably believe it and as others have said, this is a marathon not s sprint. Way too early to tell how it will all play out. I quite liked the weird abstract ads for each season/month but Target beat them with the catchy Alouette/color ads.
post #42 of 81

Here's what's wrong with JCP....

 

The don't keep their store clean and organized.  It's a pig sty.  When I enter a store like that, I think "bad management", "they don't care" and they have no respect for their customer.  The last two times I went to JCP it was on a Sunday morning at store opening.  Both times, the clothes were scattered and unorganized, like they had been hit hard by a sale.  There was dirt and scraps of paper on the floor.  It was disgusting.  So, I brought this to their attention and gave them the benefit of the doubt that they might take it to heart and clean it up.  Nope.  Next time (and my last time), it was the exact same.  They aren't bothering to clean up on Saturday before they go home.  I'm sorry, but I refuse to shop somewhere like that.

 

Maybe this dude can turn it around.  But, he's going to have to stop overlooking the obvious and he's going to have to do it without me 'cause I'm not going back.

post #43 of 81

The Apple Store succeeded for pretty much every reason that JCPenny will fail under this new guidance.

 

The success of the Apple Store came from these reasons:

1) It showcased ONLY products made by/for Apple products.  Many products can only be found in an Apple store or online.

2) Apple stores are small, intimate and minimalist by design.  Almost boutique in feel.

3) Consumers were able to directly consult Apple employees before, during and after an Apple purchase for help, guidance and tech support.

4) Apple stores are chic, urban, hip and located in the most prominent urban areas.  Its cool to shop at an Apple store.

5) Apple stores specialize in high end luxury consumer electronics & computers.

 

JCP shows products made by a variety of other manufacters that can be found in a variety of competitor's stores.  Most of the competitors are located next door.

JCP stores are huge areas, located mainly in even larger shopping malls.  They are so overwhelming in size, that it takes few minutes (or a store directory) for you locate the department that you'd even like to shop in.  When you finally make it to the department you are looking for.. good luck sorting thru the huge mess of items to find your size, colour or version.

Consumers rarely need any consultation from JCP employee, except for someone to bring them these shoes in a size 9 or to ring them up.  If JCP put all of their items out on the shelves and put in self-checkout lanes, there would be no need for JCP salespeople.

JCP is a department store.  Theres nothing cool, hip or urban about a department store.  If anything a dept store is something you find in suburbia and its filled with soccer moms.. who have their wild 7 year olds running crazy around the store.

JCP specializes low priced clothing, home goods & furnishings.  Theres simply nothing upscale about the store itself or items they sale.  If you are looking for luxury clothing & furnishings.. JCP is probably the 2nd to last dept store on your list.  Only Walmart would be lower.

 

This partnership will never work.  Johnson should have headed to Best Buy, instead of JCP.  His experience and special talents would have been much more useful there.. and they could damn sure use him as their ship is quickly sinking.


Edited by Daekwan - 5/16/12 at 9:10pm
post #44 of 81

It will get worse before it gets better. Pretty common thing, but for these zombie stock holders it's not good enough. M-U-S-T M-A-K-E M-O-N-E-Y N-O-W!!!

Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #45 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

 

Are you saying that Apple products are cheap, low-end hardware wrapped in fancy marketing? Just asking.

 

I spent the last two days fixing a computer for my employer that has crapped out for the countless time because she doesn't understanding that buying cheap results in cheap. And she bought the cheapest ink cartridges and then failed to install one of them properly. It leaked and ruined the printer. *shakes his head*

 

Moral of the story - don't buy cheap if you want reliability. Now, back to the JCP story where "every day is cheap".

Well there are two types of cheap. There's Walmart cheap, and then there's Costco cheap. Walmart sells a lot of products that are cheap because they use low quality materials. People for the most part know it will be a piece of crap when they buy it, but it's so damn inexpensive it doesn't matter. They buy it anyway. Costco on the other hand offers mid-tier to premium goods (normally, but not always, in bulk) at far cheaper prices than you can find anywhere else. I've gone in Costco and have seen pants that cost $100. And I'm like damn thats a lot, but because it's Costco I know those pants are cheap. If I went anywhere else to buy them, I'd probably have to spend at least $50 more. I'm guessing that Penny's cheap is closer to the Costco type of cheap than the Walmart type of cheap.

post #46 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

 

The Mythbusters did in fact polish shit to a fairly high gloss.  Myth/saying busted.

 

But we know what you really meant.

 

They polish a turd not by taking a fresh turd and attempting to polish it but condensing it and working over with pressure to a point that with water it can slowly become polished. That's a typical Myth buster crapola.

post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

If there were one thing I find fault with, it's the reliance upon quarterly reports by most businesses. It makes long term change hard to bring about. Everything is too focused on the short term and an important balance is lost... Strategic planning often takes a year or more to begin to show it's impact..

You plan a course for several years, but you need a way to measure the progress. Internally, a company watches things on a weekly, daily, or even hourly or real-time basis to watch key metrics. Those are not appropriate for investors to see, but the data is still there, and there is internal accountability.

For our business line of credit, we needed to give our bank monthly reports initially. Any investor deserves to know the direction of your company so their money isn't held hostage.
Edited by aaarrrgggh - 5/16/12 at 9:51pm
post #48 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

They polish a turd not by taking a fresh turd and attempting to polish it but condensing it and working over with pressure to a point that with water it can slowly become polished. That's a typical Myth buster crapola.

Well, the old saying never specified the age and handling of the turd
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daekwan View Post

The Apple Store succeeded for pretty much every reason that JCPenny will fail under this new guidance.

Well reasoned points, but do remember had a major role in converting Target Into what it is today. I think the identity of JCP is still a bit vague, and their problems aren't just marketing and merchandising. In fact, the one time I have been in a JCP in the past year, I made a mental note of just how much work there was to do. Expenses need to rise to improve the quality and image of the stores, while ensuring that customers aren't alienated leading to a short-term drop in revenue. This is exactly the model that worked for Apple, even if the birch tables are out.

In a broader sense though, I am not sure how a department store stays relevant today. Too many brand stores, too many discounters, and if someone wants to do one-stop shopping they go online.
post #50 of 81

If I want real cloths I go to Macys/Nordstroms/ect.

If I want throw away cloths I go to Targer.

 

I would not go to JC Pennys to buy Target quality clothing at Macys prices.

post #51 of 81
So they're not opening those new stores in Greece now?

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #52 of 81

I guess something to take away from this is that some of us shouldn't be losing it when Apple hires someone from Dixon's or Currys by saying they are the worst stores ever.

Ron, who made the Apple Stores is having problems outside of Apple, so maybe the guys who couldn't do much outside of Apple will shine in Apple. Here's hoping...

post #53 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitzandbitez View Post

Ok mr. Ron Johnson are u listening??? I am one of those customers who will ONLY ENTER JCP with a coupon in hand or coupon discounted sales - since the last time I entered your JCP store at 34th st NYC and was told they dont accept coupons ANYMORE I never returned but instead walked up a 2 blocks to MACY'S where there was a plethora of sales with coupon discounts- so unless you return to this model JCP will continue to report losses... Oh well ...
Why do you need a coupon in order to purchase something? I'd rather have a price tag that says $15 vs. one that says $30, and another one that says 50% off. All JCP is trying to do is get rid of the markup to markdown phenomenon. But I guess for many people if they don't see a 30, 40 or 50% off sign they don't think they're getting a deal, even if in the end they're paying the same price.
post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Well reasoned points, but do remember had a major role in converting Target Into what it is today. I think the identity of JCP is still a bit vague, and their problems aren't just marketing and merchandising. In fact, the one time I have been in a JCP in the past year, I made a mental note of just how much work there was to do. Expenses need to rise to improve the quality and image of the stores, while ensuring that customers aren't alienated leading to a short-term drop in revenue. This is exactly the model that worked for Apple, even if the birch tables are out.
In a broader sense though, I am not sure how a department store stays relevant today. Too many brand stores, too many discounters, and if someone wants to do one-stop shopping they go online.
I'm sure they're having a hard time competing with Kohls, and nearly everything at Kohls is on sale all the time. It's very hard to break people of the discount/sale mentality, People expect to see sale signs and markdowns and if they don't see them they don't think they're getting a deal. And people not hooked on coupons were probably never shopping at JCP anyway. So the ony way you pull in fresh blood is via good quality product, which sadly in many cases JCP doesn't have.
post #55 of 81
Step one would be getting rid of those god awful new commercials, like that one with the dog jumping through the hoop over and over again. Yeah, I get what they are trying to say, but it's far too abstract and flat out annoying.
post #56 of 81

I have been meaning to point out the Ron Johnston seems to believe as James Cash Penney did.  Back in the day the stores were not allowed to have sales. They constantly and effectively advertised and sold the best price merchandise.  Once he passed the bean counters decided to do it the modern way and have sales.  It has been down hill for the merchants of main street ever since.

post #57 of 81
Ok, so when they go to the store in a store deal, bring in an apple store can watch the numbers go through the sky!

it may not be what he wants from the stand point of doing this on his own, but it will work, and that should be all he cares about.
post #58 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Everyday low prices are good but you don't get rid of sales entirely because you take away the urgency to buy and then customers end up buying somewhere else that gives them that urgency.
 

 

IIRC from articles about his plan when it was first getting put in place, they do still have sales, but they are set to specific weekends each month, something like "Every 2nd weekend of a month".  So you have consistently lower prices, the same you would have been paying w/those coupons, and can still get coupon deals at specific times.  The problem is they're advertising it as "Do the math", when a lot of people really suck at math.  It's a multi-year plan and 6 months isn't enough time to turn it around.  The question will be if the investors will give him the time he needs or not. 

post #59 of 81

The feeling people get from buying something... is an adrenaline rush.  Euphoria.  Almost like a mild drug.

 

Taking the time to track down a sale, or clip a coupon... just the foreplay feeling of "Oh we have to get to JCPenny this weekend, there is a big sale"... well all that heightens that feeling of euphoria.


Even people who HATE shopping feel better when buying at a sale, or with a coupon, cause they feel they've beaten the system  "Yeah I have to shop... but you're not getting me with out a fight! Take this coupon!!"
 

 

So getting rid of the sales, and the coupons... people will chase that fix elsewhere.

 

Look!!! Sears is having a sale!!!!

post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I've said it before...Americans equate "good value" with "cheap!" as in cheap s**t. Apple is the exception to the rule. Except for Apple, American retail is dominated by Walmart and maybe Amazon. Cheap Chinese crap (Walmart), cheap crappy cars, (GM), cheap crappy software, (MS), cheap crappy drinks, (Cocoa Cola) cheap crappy food, (MacDonalds) cheap crappy PC's (HP & Dell), cheap crappy phones, (Moto, Nokia, etc.) cheap crappy beer, (Budwieser/inBev), cheap crappy Congress, (Congress).

 

:)

 

P.S. Is it just me or is AI just about unusable on the iPhone? Helloooooooooooooo :( come on Ai get an iPhone App already. If there is one already, "My bad! :(

 

MS software is "crapy" but it is certainly not "cheap".  MS makes some of the most absurdly overpriced software out there.  Look how much Windows costs.  And then look at how much Office costs.  they just reskin, fix some bugs and release a new version every year while charging insane prices.  And people are so stupid they buy it.  which is the real problem.  The vast majority of Americans are so stupid they need to be told what to do.

post #61 of 81

I noticed the attractive new ads on television in recent months which are comparable to those from Target. They have reminded me there is such a store as JC Penny which is good but I am not a bargain or price conscious shopper so I was not taking away that message away from the ads just admired the art direction. The ads may be too sophisticated for the intended audience, maybe flash some $ signs and just say "low low prices" every 3 seconds to get people back in the stores. 

post #62 of 81

You take away coupons and the 'thrill of the bargain hunt', be prepared to alienate the big subset of shoppers consisting of bored housewives whose sole source of excitement is the adrenaline rush of 40% Off.

post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Are you saying that Apple products are cheap, low-end hardware wrapped in fancy marketing? Just asking.

I spent the last two days fixing a computer for my employer that has crapped out for the countless time because she doesn't understanding that buying cheap results in cheap. And she bought the cheapest ink cartridges and then failed to install one of them properly. It leaked and ruined the printer. *shakes his head*

Moral of the story - don't buy cheap if you want reliability. Now, back to the JCP story where "every day is cheap".

It's called sarcasm.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

The moral of the story boys and girls is that you can't polish shit, you can only spread it around.

 

Nah, you CAN polish a turd... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI)

 

The REAL moral of the story is what to do when you are given a turd... spread it around, flush it, or polish it?

W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExceptionHandler View Post

Nah, you CAN polish a turd... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJ9fy1qSFI)

The REAL moral of the story is what to do when you are given a turd... spread it around, flush it, or polish it?

Well the REAL REAL moral of the story is that iDevices will sell well whether it's from a nice store or a cardboard lemonade stand.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Product is the king, not a store that sells it.

 

Wrong. Customer service is king. 

Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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post #67 of 81

This strategy might work over time as Penny changes its customer base from the Target crowd to the K-Mart/Walmart crowd.

Everyday low prices = every day low quality. People still believe you get what you pay for.

post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post

Wrong. Customer service is king. 

Yea well go around asking people with iDevices if they purchased it because of customer service
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Yea well go around asking people with iDevices if they purchased it because of customer service


 

Huh?

 

Apple has TERRIBLE customer service.

 

Ever try to get something simple done?

Better schedule a "Genius" bar appointment 2 weeks in advance and then reschedule you entire day around that appointment.

 

Needed to get my 'T' power brick replaced.  Should be as simple as walking in, giving your info, turning in your old brick, and getting a new one.  Nope.

post #70 of 81

Typical American business man.  He figures moving one product is the same as another product, it's all just widgets after all, so what worked for Apple will work for a cheesy department store.  This is the same kind of thinking that leads to corporations hiring each other's CEOs regardless of what products or services they are selling, the assumption being that expertise in the companies field of work is irrelevant.  All that matters is a tough, callous attitude towards labor costs, a good education in management theories, and experience in management at some other corporation, preferably but not nessesarily a profitable one.  Thus we get absurdities like a soft drink CEO running a computer company and making decisions regarding products and technology he knows nothing of.  Just cut costs, (especially labor costs, because those lowlife workers are all lazy anyways), get a slick marketing strategy going, and shift the units!  

 

In any event, Mr. Johnson will do fine in the end, no matter what happens to JC Penny.  If Penny's goes bankrupt tomorrow, Johnson will walk away with millions.   

post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


 
Huh?

Apple has TERRIBLE customer service.

Ever try to get something simple done?
Better schedule a "Genius" bar appointment 2 weeks in advance and then reschedule you entire day around that appointment.

Needed to get my 'T' power brick replaced.  Should be as simple as walking in, giving your info, turning in your old brick, and getting a new one.  Nope.


Huh?

Apple has terrible customer service? The company that is repeatedly ranked by consumers as having world-class customer service? The company that even provides the opportunity to schedule free appointments at the Genius Bar?

I've been to many different Apple Stores in many different cities/countries and can say that I've never been unable to get a Genius Bar appointment on the same day. And that includes extremely busy stores like Michigan Ave in Chicago and Fifth Ave in NYC.

Are you talking about the same Apple Stores that don't have checkout lines and cash registers so that every transaction can be efficiently and speedily completed on the spot? And that's after you've been greeted by someone who will either check you in for an appointment or will call over someone to assist you with your specific need.

I confess that I've not found the time to visit one of the Microsoft stores -- are they the ones with the stellar customer service? How about Dell, Sony, HP, or Wal-Mart or Best Buy?

And as for my own experience getting a replacement power brick -- I needed one for my wife's MacBook. I walked into a relatively crowded, fairly busy Apple Store and walked out with the new one in less than 5 minutes -- no appointment required. And that's including the time it took the Associate to go in the back and grab the box off the shelf.

But I'm sure it must be all of my experiences that are the outliers and your one that is the norm for everyone...
post #72 of 81

Seems like it's pretty early to cast judgement on the JCP makeover.  Remember, what Johnson has done in the past was all about "feel."  Target went from being a downmarket dump to a kind of a fun place to shop.  At least in my neck of the woods, they're typically clean, well laid out, with a pretty good selection of Target branded stuff or Target exclusives.  A combination of store design, branding, judicious selection of merchandise, decent pricing and (apparently) efficient management make for more than the sum of the parts. Compared to, say, Walmart, which seems to be designed around the idea that getting stuff for as little as possible should be depressing, Target is an oasis.  Or, to cite another example, Old Navy, which feels kind of cheap and nasty in its every particular, from the lighting to the displays to the merchandise.  

 

So getting hung up on negative past experiences, or the efficacy of their pricing model, or the fate of department stores in general sort of misses the point, IMO.  Wait and see what Johnson has in mind.  If the new JCP is fun and welcoming in feel-- if when you walk in you think "Cool!  This is pretty nice!  I wonder what they have for sale?" then that's half the battle.  And we won't really know how well that's working until we see the finished product.

They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Indeed. Not even Apple has had everything go gold right off. And some stuff like MobileMe was ultimately so bad they did a total revamp and even changed the name to try to avoid the bad taste left behind.

Actually no you're wrong. MobileMe STARTED off being bad then became a really good product.

 

Apple changed to iCloud for a much better reason. The device is king so let's get all the devices together. MobileMe made the cloud king and that is going to be fraught with danger.

 

iCloud is not MobileMe revamped. It is a new product, one that most people haven't grasped yet.

post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

P.S. Is it just me or is AI just about unusable on the iPhone? Helloooooooooooooo :( come on Ai get an iPhone App already. If there is one already, "My bad! :(

Particularly ironic since that was the biggest complaint about vBulletin which was the previous forum application. Just so happens that vBulletin released their iPhone compatible version only a few weeks before AI bailed on them.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #75 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

This strategy might work over time as Penny changes its customer base from the Target crowd to the K-Mart/Walmart crowd.

Everyday low prices = every day low quality. People still believe you get what you pay for.


Target doesn't do coupons, and their new commercials are aimed squarely at the Target shopper.

 

You're thinking Kohls.

post #76 of 81

I don't really care about JC Penney.

 

SO...

 

Could you guys sack him so we can replace the PC World guy? Maybe he would be better suited for JC Penney.

post #77 of 81

I like shopping at JCP and Macy's. But as some posters pointed out, women (especially) love sales and coupons and 40% off last price marked. And CLEARANCE signs. It'd be like someone coming into Apple and changing the packaging to something more practical and cheaper. We'd be screaming at the top of our lungs for a return of the opening experience we've come to know and love.

 

RJ has a crazy scheme of pricing where they are low all the time, but especially low on Fridays and then super super low when the planets align, blah blah blah. I'm fine with the low prices. But perhaps he should have kept at least one sale per month where we needed coupons to shop. He should have talked to his wife about his ambitious plan to save the rain forest.....

 

On an unrelated note, here's a question to AI: Why can't I hit RETURN when logging in? I have to actually click the login button. Or is it just me?

post #78 of 81

Wow. That ad campaign totally fell flat with me. It's this AppleInsider story that got my attention. JCP is having a sale (a lowering of their everyday low prices) on men's pants. I think I'll stop in this weekend.

(this has to be my most useless post on anything, anywhere)

post #79 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

The moral of the story boys and girls is that you can't polish shit, you can only spread it around.

Actually you can polish shit,

 

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-polishing-a-turd.html

 

Just saying

post #80 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Are you saying that Apple products are cheap, low-end hardware wrapped in fancy marketing? Just asking.

I spent the last two days fixing a computer for my employer that has crapped out for the countless time because she doesn't understanding that buying cheap results in cheap. And she bought the cheapest ink cartridges and then failed to install one of them properly. It leaked and ruined the printer. *shakes his head*

Moral of the story - don't buy cheap if you want reliability. Now, back to the JCP story where "every day is cheap".

Tallest was being sarcastic... And I agree with you, printers for example are mostly decrepit because innovation there stopped 10 years ago, and they've relied on this obtuse, broken business model of unicorn-tear in cartridges. Ironically since most printers are all-in-one for the mainstream now, focusing on ~reducing~ paper clutter should be their goal, like Doxie. Throw in Shoeboxed integration and I'm sure you instantly have a better "printer".

Tech dies when innovation stops. That's why we got into tech, right? But too many are now focused on useless gimmicky rubbish that won't last six months.

I mean, it's 2012, why do I have to go through a BOOK just to hit File, Print???
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