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brand trainwrecks

JCPenney Desperately Seeks Happy Ending as Retail Saga Continues

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 06:37 PM

Someday, Hollywood may make a movie about the dashing Myron "Mike" Ullman and how he reluctantly came back to rescue JCPenney, the company he loved so much that he was willing to attempt to lead it a second time—after first being rejected by its board in favor of a charismatic new leader, who subsequently laid waste to the enterprise.

But for now, what Ullman is faced with at "JCP" doesn't seem to be shaping up for such an inspiring climax. He and the executives who remain from the Ron Johnson administration appear "to at least understand that [they] have entered the endgame," as the New York Times put it. "But [Ullman] now has to show how he's going to win it."

Clearly, the odds are stacked high against Ullman and even against the future of the company. After a monumental sales slide that has continued to worsen after last year's 25 percent swoon, wholesale layoffs of JCPenney employees that have left those who remain dispirited and overworked, mass confusion of the brand's traditional customer base, a dwindling of financial resources and the sudden and ignominious if inevitable departure of Johnson—not to mention a verdict in JCPenney's litigation against Macy's hanging in the balance—there's not much room for optimism.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Facebook, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

JCPenney seeks to raise $1 billion as Martha Stewart loses a round in JCP-Macy's case.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg launches FWD.us with Silicon Valley heavyhitters on immigration reform.

Apple agrees to settle suit on iPhone and iPad warranties.

Argos plans digital "store of the future" to fight Amazon.

Bibigo Korean food brand partners with Psy.

Bitcoin finds Winklevoss twins rise in digital money as crash continues.

BlackBerry looks to apps and China for growth.

Burger King CEO leaves to take top job at H.J. Heinz.

Douwe Egberts goes to JAB for $9.8 billion.

Eli Lilly plans to lay off 30 percent of sales reps in major restructuring.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Deutsche Telekom, The Masters, Toyota and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 11, 2013 09:16 AM

In the News

Deutsche Telekom raises bid for MetroPCS.

The Masters begins at Augusta National today with Tiger Woods again among the favorites.

Toyota and other Japanese automakers recall 3.4 million vehicles over Takata airbag.

Applebee's led first-quarter social media engagement by restaurants.

Barnes & Noble rebrands self-publishing platform PubIt! as Nook Press as it continues to invest in future of Nook brand.

Justin Bieber backs a debit card for teens, from parents.

ConocoPhillips suspends Arctic drilling plan.

Daimler says worsening Europe puts its 2013 profit outlook in doubt.

Dell plans to double sales outlets in China.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Post-Johnson, JCPenney Picks Up the Pieces

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...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, JCPenney, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Chrysler recalls more than 214,000 vehicles.

JCPenney acting CMO Sergio Zyman canvasses adland for marketing help as Macy's/Martha Stewart trial rolls on.

GM returns to Facebook advertising with mobile test for Chevy Sonic as it provokes unionists in Korea with talk about pullout, and Facebook widens data targeting for advertisers.

Aereo finds broadcasters circling the wagons against its streaming model.

Apple and Yahoo discuss deeper iPhone partnership, WSJ says.

Beech-Nut teams with Goya to launch Hispanic baby food line.

Behr launches social media program to market paint.

Cablevision Systems gives more responsibilities to wife of CEO.

Cannes Lions Festival adds jury on Branded Content and Entertainment.

Chili's begins marketing pizza nationwide.

Facebook has yet to monetize billion-dollar Instagram acquisition.

Fiat becomes more reliant on US and Asia for growth.

Fisker Automotive prepares to file under Chapter 11 soon.

Frontier Airlines may be on the block, WSJ says.Continue reading...

brand battle

JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson Out as JCP-Macy's-Martha Stewart Trial Resumes

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...

brand news

In the News; AB InBev, GE, PepsiCo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

AB InBev reachedtentative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its disputed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which faces inquiry over Mexico worker deaths.

GE to buy Lufkin for $3 billion in oil-and-gas-industry play.

PepsiCo seeks to patent novel high-protein nutrition beverages.

Adidas stops controversial sale of t-shirts around injured Louisville player Kevin Ware.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong to be honored for pro-women Makers series.

Apple's former advisor to Steve Jobs admits brand screwed up iPhone naming system.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: HP, BP, BMW and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the NewsHP board shakeup and chairman exit gives CEO Meg Whitman a chance to shake off troubles.

BP faults Deepwater Horizon claims overseer, launches first brand-wide fuel loyalty program.

BMW prepares X4 crossover for U.S. market, makes vehicles greener with fewer cylinders, less gasoline.

Al Jazeera America hires CNN's Ali Velshi as anchor.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos leads $5 million investment round in Henry Blodget's Business Insider.

Apple reportedly signs music labels for streaming service as Google's YouTube clinches deal with Universal Music.

Best Buy may have turned the tide on showrooming Amazon.Continue reading...

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