Bad marketing and bad leadership to blame for JCP troubles?

Nov. 14, 2012

An article on forbes.com pointed out the unfortunate outcome J.C. Penney has seen since the current president Ron Johnson took the retail helm — and noted that things will most likely continue to get worse.

One reason, the article points out, is the poor marketing decisions Johnson made on JCP's behalf. Athough Forbes' Holiday Sales Survey predicts that consumers will spend 6 percent more this year than last, JCP is unlikely to benefit, especially after losing $123 million in sales as of its Q3 report.

Here is an excerpt from the column:

To avoid arguments to come you might want to factor in that after reporting a truly dismal 3rd Quarter (jcp lost $123 million as sales plummeted a shocking 27%), Mr. Johnson told analysts, "I am sure many of you are wondering how we’re going to make it through the next eight weeks." One wonders, indeed. So far Mr. Johnson hasn’t been right about a lot but he’s probably right about that.

Anyway, in the face of all the "I-am-aware-of-the brand-and-really-engaged-with-its-commercials-and-new-logo-therefore-all-this-is-going-to-work-out-just-swell" thinking, this column isn’t hubris, but a reminder that the marketplace is always the acid test. Or, perhaps more accurately, in the face of more sales declines, a likely liquidity crisis, lower budgets and/or higher debt, this is Mr. Johnson's jack-acid test. Even if you’re not an accountant you might say that things are getting worse, not better at jcp.

You might also say that Mr. Johnson is man without a brand and without a plan. And in today's marketplace you need at least one of those if you have a hope of success.

Read more about marketing.


Topics: Department Stores , Marketing


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