A new J.C. Penney commercial seems to ask customers to forgive them for making unpopular changes under its last chief executive, the former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson.
In case you don't already know, the commercial is talking about changes that resulted in nearly $13 billion year-over-year decline in revenue in 2012, according to AppleInsider. Johnson, who was picked because of his successes at Apple's store chain, made major changes such as ditching discounts and axing popular brands that didn't resonate with customers.
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Under Johnson's 17-month reign, J. C. Penney sales fell 25 percent and had a net loss of $985 million. Johnson was fired last month and replaced with J. C. Penney's former CEO Mike Ullman. However, the surprise is that the commercial was made with Johnson's approval, according to Bloomberg News.
From the commercial:
It’s no secret, recently JCPenney changed. Some changes you liked and some you didn’t, but what matters with mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing: to listen to you, to hear what you need, to make your life more beautiful. Come back to J.C. Penney. We heard you.
Unnamed sources cited Johnson's adherence to Apple corporate ways and sarcasm didn't endear him to those at J. C. Penney. He was called "sarcastic" and didn't like product testing, according to the New York Times. He telecommuted mostly from California to the Plano, Texas headquarters, and so did the executive team he hired mostly from Abercrombie & Fitch.
In short, the views from unnamed executives were that Johnson didn't think much of J.C. Penney or its customers other than they had to dress and buy differently. Unfortunately, the customers didn't see it that way and stayed away in droves.