Friday, April 13, 2012

JC Penney - No Hope for the Store Change

JC Penney? My wife says the "change" sucks. She used to love shopping at Penney's. Today she returned from the store and said she does not like the women's clothing now on display. She couldn't find a thing to buy.

She said the clothes look cheaply made, unimaginative, and unattractive. She was so disgusted (her word), she went over to Macy's to spend some money.

Ron Johnson, the new CEO of JC Penney used to work at Apple Computer. His plan is to combine ideas from WalMart and Target and the retail Apple Store. Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

Here is one of the stupidest ideas they're using to rescue the troubled brand: JCP’s “Town Square” (imitating the Apple Store "Genius Bar") will offer special, seasonal, non-product attractions in the center of each store, like free haircuts or free ice cream.

You can tell a male is at the head of JC Penney. Women are very fussy about who does their hair. "Free haircuts" would probably work better at a homeless shelter.

And women aren't going to want to eat fattening comfort foods, like ice cream, while shopping for a new outfit.

Don't sabotage a lady's diet, and tempt her with junk food, then try to entice her to buy clothes.

Bottom line: desperation is not a good source of marketing strategy.

A unique vision is what's needed today, not imitation or emulation. Now more than ever, businesses need to listen to customers and give them the "experience" they want, not impose some grandiose scheme upon them.

InvestorPlace: "Even With Apple Genius, New J.C. Penney Might Be a Tough Sell"

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