Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 06:12 PM
JCPenney's brand-resuscitation efforts continued today with a digital-era form of a classic corporate move: the mea culpa.
The company launched a virtual apology tour on Facebook, YouTube (watch below) and Twitter to get the message out to customers—those same customers that now-ousted CEO Ron Johnson in large part ignored for more than a year—that the brand is sorry and wants them to come back.
According to Bloomberg, the campaign was developed on Johnson's watch and implemented by Sergio Zyman, the former Coca-Cola marketing executive who will go down in history as the architect of the New Coke fiasco.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2013 04:22 PM
It's Day 2 of the post-Johnson era at JCP—or JCPenney (or is it back to J.C. Penney now?)—and it isn't at all clear how the venerable American retailer is going to recover from what just-sacked CEO Ron Johnson did, and didn't, do.
But JCPenney, now back under the leadership of pre-Johnson CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman, is going to try. Wall Street has been tapping down Penney's stock in the wake of the board's decision to oust Johnson earlier this week, but it isn't because investors believe that Johnson should have stayed. It's because they fear that the former head of Apple retail operations did so much damage during his short tenure at the helm that the company isn't salvageable.
Ullman is at least going to give it everything he's got in his second shot at the job. The retailer is still fighting a 10 percent sales drop during its ongoing fiscal first quarter, the Wall Street Journal said, on top of a 19 percent drop during the same quarter a year ago and the overall 25 percent dip in revenues during 2012.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 07:12 PM
Ron Johnson has been ousted as CEO of JCPenney as the retailer's board of directors voted on Monday to turn to his predecessor to pull the company out of the death spiral (it lost $4.3 billion in sales last year) on Johnson's watch, rather than give the former Target executive and Apple retail head the extra time he wanted to see his radical vision through to fruition.
Mike Ullman, who had been CEO of JCPenney until 2011, before Johnson, is returning to take the helm again at least for the time being, according to a JCPenney press release:
"The Board of Directors of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced that Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III has rejoined the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Ullman is a highly accomplished retail industry executive, who served as CEO of jcpenney until late 2011. He succeeds Ron Johnson, who is stepping down and leaving the Company."
The stock market appreciated the move, which comes on the same day that JCPenney resumed its courtroom clash with Macy's in Manhattan over rights to field the Martha Stewart product lines that Johnson maintained would be crucial to turning around JCPenney's fortunes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM
J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue.
"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.
That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.
“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 20, 2013 05:33 PM
Retailers are trying to cope with the challenge of an increasingly mobile consumer who conducts life digitally. This means meeting consumers' expectations on a whole new playing field: the mobile device.
According to Interbrand's just-released Best Retail Brands 2013 report, "retailers are mobilizing to address the larger issues around digital: Where and how does it fit into the organization? How can development teams be reorganized and silos lowered to accommodate a multichannel approach? How will the brand's culture change in response?"
While mobile sales are insignificant now, they are growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year, and PayPal alone processed around $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, according to Business Insider. That means mobile payments need to be a key part of future retail strategy. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, "Paper, Plastic... or Mobile?" The FTC cites a KPMG survey that found that 83 percent of executives in retail, financial services, technology and telecommunications believe mobile payments will see widespread consumer adoption by 2015.
Another recent study, by JPMorgan, divides the current state of the mobile commerce market: mobile acceptance (any mobile-based payment solution), mobile wallets (applications that enable consumers to use mobile devices for payment instead of credit or debit cards) and mobile commerce (e-commerce via any mobile device).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 06:36 PM
One more day of Martha Stewart on the stand in the Macy's-JCPenney trial over her brand and wares, and neither retailer may not want her anymore.
Testimony by the 71-year-old Diva of Domesticity on Tuesday at times sounded like something from Les Miserables or A Tale of Two Cities, leaving her views of the differences between Penney's and Macy's customers abundantly clear.
Penney customers "have 30 percent less income than Macy's shoppers," she said near the end of her testimony, according to the Twitter coverage from the courtroom by Ashley Lutz, who covers retail for Business Insider. "They're going to buy different things."
Not long after, a Macy's attorney in the landmark court case called her out for saying that JCP has different customers than Macy's, the lawyer noting that the Macy's contract prohibited her brand from collaborating with "downscale" partners, presumably because it would tarnish the value of the Stewart marque for Macy's.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2013 05:26 PM
Is it just us, or does J.C. Penney's "Yours Truly" ad sound like a goodbye? Unfortunately for the 100-year-old brand, it may not be far off.
J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson may be testifying in the suit against his company by Macy's over Martha Stewart any day now. Sitting in the hot seat in that courtroom can't be any worse than sitting in the hot seat that he already occupies: as the man who presided over what's been called "the worst quarter in retailing history" by Business Insider and who seems increasingly unable to stop Penney's self-imposed slide.
Not that things are hunky-dory at some of his competitors these days either. Sears' problems continue and now Walmart is having trouble keeping its shelves stocked.
Things seem to be spinning out of control at Penney. This week, Johnson reported an adjusted decline in same-store sales of nearly 32 percent for the fourth quarter; and for the fiscal year as a whole, sales dropped by a staggering total of $4.3 billion compared with 2011—just before Johnson was hand-picked as CEO by the Penney board that had been starstruck by his accomplishments running Apple retail. Last month, he finally conceded that the "no-sales" basis of his strategy might be flawed. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2013 09:07 AM
Carnival Cruise Lines sees brand perceptions drop to all-time low.
J.C. Penney losses snowball as boost in ad spending can't reverse sales declline.
Facebook inks deal to show ads based on shopping habits.
AC/DC rocks their own signature brand of beer.
American Express pushes e-commerce to TV commerce.
Apple preaches patience.
Boeing apologizes for Dreamliner fiasco.
Caesars looks to web gambling for financial help.
Flowers Foods set to buy Wonder, other Hostess brands for $390 million.Continue reading...