Enduring success relies on the occasional bold, innovative, or even lucky move—a smart call that positions a company to grow, ideally by better serving its customers’ needs rather than just exploiting them.
J.C. Penney brings back sales
It’s questionable whether this or anything else will save the ailing midmarket department store, or indeed the very concept of the midmarket department store. But it’s clear that the company’s effort to reinvent itself under former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson as a slick, Wi-Fi-enabled, no-discounts shopping experience was a catastrophic flop. This year they brought back an old CEO, brought back discounts, and even though they’re still struggling, sales trends are in the right direction.
Apple hires Angela Ahrendts. The Ron Johnson Catastrophe at J.C. Penney also managed to leave Apple’s retail operation adrift and listless. Tim Cook brought in John Browett, CEO of British mass-market superstore Tesco, who promptly alienated loyalists with a misguided cost-cutting drive before getting fired. Ahrendts, CEO of the far more upmarket British company Burberry, is a much better choice.* Apple’s retail stores are already insanely successful. They don’t need a retail chief who can squeeze extra dollars out of them; they need one who can build a lot more—especially in Asia—where Burberry has opened many more shops than Apple without compromising the brand’s value. Adding a woman to the executive team can’t hurt, either…Continue Reading >>