AP Interview: JC Penney CEO tries to transform Penney, borrows from Apple's playbook

  • Article by: ANNE D'INNOCENZIO , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 30, 2012 - 2:27 PM

NEW YORK - Everyone in the retail world wants to see if Ron Johnson can work his magic a third time.

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vikings1Jan. 31, 1212:29 PM

Very ambiguous answers by Johnson. There's very little substance that anyone could attain from reading this interview.

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fed1949Jan. 31, 12 1:24 PM

I certainly hope Ron Johnson does not ruin Penney's. I have shopped the store my entire life from being a teen, to a professional woman, to a young mother, and now as I'm older and retired. It is my source for clothing as well as wedding gifts. It is precisely because Penney's is not trendy (and loud), and full of merchandise I could care less about, that I go there. Never in my life (even as a teen) did I have time to waste with a "shopping experience." I need to buy what I need and move on. Guess Ron Johnson just does not understand that. I miss the Penney catalogs--the new one that came out is trendy and glossy and has absolutely nothing in it that I would ever buy. First do no harm, Mr. Johnson.

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dmorleybJan. 31, 12 1:44 PM

I think Ron Johnson has it spot on. Most of us have bouhgt things on sale over the years only to have them clutter up the closet or garage. They are never taken out of the box, never used or warn and therefore were lousy value for money ... no matter what the discount. Discount is not the primary buying motive for most of us. Value for money is. So is service, quality, convenience and buying from people we trust. What's more, price has nothing to do with value. Isn't it possible that you could spend $50,000 on a car and consider you got the best value ever? Isn't it also possible that you could buy a car for $5,000 and consider yourself ripped off - the worst five grand you ever spent. Likewise, is Apple the cheapest brand in the market? No way. It's possibly one of the most expensive - but that's okay because it's also the best. And try asking them for discount and see where it gets you. With Ron Johnson's expertise and passion for creating a retail experience, I have no doubt he will be able to transition this next brand on his list into a vibrant, modern and sustainable retail entity.

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elmi0001Jan. 31, 12 1:49 PM

Best of luck, but I'll never shop their again. I used to shop at JC Penney's at Southdale in the 90's and it still looks like the 90's in that place. The EP one is a little better, but I walk into it and think Mervyn's. They need to create their own experience and update their stores more than once every other decade. Then they MIGHT have a shot.

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nikkibeebleFeb. 1, 12 7:54 AM

I think what Penney's has struggled with lately is thinking "Well, if we just plop a Sephora in the store, or start selling Mango or I Heart Ronson apparel, young, stylish women with money will flock!" No, no, no. Instead you have untouched collections of overpriced-and-inappropriate-for-your-actual-shoppers items that just perpetuate the need for all the price slashing events. Long story short, I hope this guy doesn't just try to do more band-aid projects like JCP has done thus far.

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stevenelFeb. 1, 12 4:31 PM

To me this could be very good news as long as Johnson follows Apple's example and focuses on offering a consistently great product. I'm amazed at how much cheap, shabby clothing is being sold for obscene prices at "high end" clothing stores. (are you listening Macy's?) If I can go to JC Penney and get clothing that will last, I'll consider it a bargain even if it isn't on sale. A little bit more hipness can't hurt either but well-made every day clothing is where it's got to start.

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