J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson is on the hot seat again, this time taking shots from current...

J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson is on the hot seat again, this time taking shots from current and former employees in a scathing New York Post article. The exec's long absences from the main office has bred a culture of half-hearted workers, according to the assorted potshots.
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Comments (22)
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11448) | Send Message
    Grim. This will be a tricky turnaround. For further reading, here's a weird metric that might bode poorly for JCP: http://seekingalpha.co...
    11 Feb 2013, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • SMRoss8
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
    One of the most important elements of a successful retail turnaround regardless of the particular strategy is enlistment of staff. The anonymous comments in the Post may be a limited snapshot from a handful of employees. But if they fairly reflect the apparent senior management engagement level in headquarters then an organization adrift, with access to all the same instant communication as the rest of the world, will have trouble playing follow the leader.
    11 Feb 2013, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • shanghaimike
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I worked for Penney for 27 years.. Great memories of people doing their jobs making money and raising share holder value. I often shop the stores and cant believe the poor in-stocks of key sku's in all departments. Ron and his high priced group of part time execs have failed to understand the customer. I think Ron is building a monument to himself as he runs the company into bankruptcy.
    Just my thoughts.
    11 Feb 2013, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • retailgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (123) | Send Message
    Mike, touche. I too have worked many years for this company...many happy years of hard work and satisfaction.


    Johnson is no retail man. I don't know what he is...but he is not built for retail. My suspect is he is building that monument you speak of from the golf course.


    Not a problem though....if times get tough he can just fire more employees, destroy people's lives,,,,people who have worked harder and longer than his spoiled butt ever thought about. Eventually he will run out of people to fire....I don't know what he does then.


    I pray each night for his firing. It cannot come soon enough. The employees CAN and WILL salvage this company. But we must have someone at the helm willing to roll up their sleeves and hang in there with us while we do it. Not some pampered brat phoning in from the golf course.
    11 Feb 2013, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • karmike
    , contributor
    Comments (190) | Send Message
    Ron Johnson should be ashamed of himself. He is raping this fine old company and its employees who need the job. Shame on you Ron Johnson, you are a waste of good breathing air! Perhaps you should go back to managing a company which only has an extremely limited selection like Apple stores......but then again you are taking $53 million plus perks for being a lazy CEO with a simplistic view of retail and an arrogant view of your own "abilities".
    11 Feb 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • User 7753461
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    disgruntelled employees who think they know how to run a 17billion dollor co. if u think a company owes u something then think again.Ron has zeroed in on where the money is being wasted and it is sometimes employees.the money in retail is believe it or not the young person who is impulsive and buys the 70 dollor jeans.the company has to change some of its old practices,like catalog and endless sales that are confussing and costly to promote.all i see in these coment is old angry employees.
    11 Feb 2013, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • mcl12342
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
    If your theory is true, why is JCP losing money and customers. Also, it is use to be a 17 billion dollar company until this past year. JCP has been reported to lose nearly 4 billion in 2012. Where are all these young impulsive shoppers?
    11 Feb 2013, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • karmike
    , contributor
    Comments (190) | Send Message
    Funny! The endless sales and confusing marketing was worth twice in sales what Ron is doing and it was making money! Ron is throwing ice chunks off of the deck of the Titanic trying to lighten the load.....it won't work!
    12 Feb 2013, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • bb197812
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Wow, where to begin. I am an vendor of JCP and the events that have taken place over the past 18 months are staggering and sad. There are so many talented retailers, merchandisers, planners, business analysts that have been let go and just left because they were fed up with a vision that at best was unrealistic and at worst borders retail incompetence and will be taught about at business schools for generations to come. Yes the company was flat, but it was profitable. And yes they need 'growth' as RJ speaks about now, but you can't grow when you have alienated your core consumer, when your advertising message is as blurry and messy as the stores they shop in. Terrific, you have a shiny new Levi's store- but guess what? Right next to it there is the same old, decrepit JCPenney store. And the 'vision' of the store inside a store? It's not a vision, its a copycat. Already done successfully by such retailers as Macy's, Belk's and Dillard's. But back to the home office. I personally know many that work there, and to say the morale is 'low' would be like saying RJ and Bill Ackman really believe that the scoops of manure they are putting in front of the American public are in fact bars of Martha Stewart made gold. I was recently told from a buyer there that RJ 'maybe' shows up 1-2 days a week- on a good week. Didn't even the captain of the Titanic stay with his ship as it went down? The employees that work there know that RJ and his 'dream team' (what is left of them) work from them their various homes in NY or Minneapolis, but very few are in Plano. I was there a few months back and noticed that one entire wing of the complex was vacant (and mind you the corp office is the size of a small college campus). I asked the buyer I know what was going on and he said they were looking to rent out some space out of the building. That Frito Lay and other companies were near by and had inquired. They call it a 'brain drain' over in Plano as the most talented folks have left one way or another. RJ stays in his mansion in Appletown, CA and occasionally hits a store, or better yet appears on a news show like MSNBC where they throw him softball questions about the 'change'. Did anyone catch last weeks interview as RJ smiled through the whole thing, without a care in the world. Of course he doesn't have one, he's made many, many millions from Apple as well as what he will sail off with JCP when the vessel finally takes it's home on the bottom of the retail ocean floor next to Montgomery Ward, Venture and countless other.....It's the poor working stiffs that made JCP what it once was that we should feel bad for. JCP board take action and take this ship back, before, sadly, it is too late...Meanwhile Macy's and Kohls are coming off great quarters and thanking RJ all the way to the bank......
    11 Feb 2013, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • user1189
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    I am also a former jcp employee, I worked most of my career there. I am not disgruntled, but concerned about what has happened here with jcp. They gutted their talent and traded it off for inexperienced cheaper talent that is making costly mistakes. In addition to the stores dilemma, their systems and infrastructures are being starved out of resources, and the company is decaying within. There is no planning, no vision for how they will keep their infrastructure afloat. It is a shoot from the hip and and a trial by error methodology. My concern is with those jcp employees who are caught in the middle of this. Morale had bottomed out before I left and I can't imagine what it is like now.
    11 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • j main
    , contributor
    Comments (358) | Send Message
    I have been on both sides of restructuring retail chains. While I am not intimately involved with the details of what is going on at jcp, there is no way that losing $4,000,000,000 in sales would be considered as part of any restructuring plan.


    I wish all the past and current employees at jcp good luck with all their endeavors. This is looking like a tough pill to swallow for those who can see the mistakes being made and the perceived lack of leadership.
    11 Feb 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Billybob207
    , contributor
    Comments (115) | Send Message
    I comment as a 33 year veteran of department store and big box retailing. I ran stores and fashion merchandising divisions.


    The old J C Penney was a store that it never occurred to me to shop in...except for underwear, maybe socks. It was a step up from Sears, sometimes. It was headed for the dust bin of retail history.


    Radical change is hard. It's especially hard on those that have not bought into the new "vision". And unfortunately, the process is a long one.
    I feel bad for the old timers commenting here. The retail bubble they are living in is an antique one. Nonetheless, I feel the pain.


    And btw, comments about how and where Johnson spends his time reveal that antique attitude as well. In a modern world of business, it matters not how many hours you put in at "the office". What matters is what you achieve. Who cares where it's directed from? The office is virtual but the ideas are real and exciting.


    That being said, I think the stock is a screaming buy. Johnson is innovating and leading us into a new era of retailing. Keep your eye on the new vendor shops like "Joe Fresh". Watch the focus on new technologies to better serve the customer. I am sure an exciting new web presence is not far behind as well. People under 50 will embrace this and the momentum will be surprising.


    How many stocks have a Morningstar 5 star rating? With a "fair value" estimate of $38 it would seem to me anything under $20 is a real deal. JMO.
    11 Feb 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Placebo Investment Advice
    , contributor
    Comments (4097) | Send Message
    C'mon disgruntled JCP employees. Turn that frown upside down and sing along with Bill and Ron:


    "I've got to admit it's getting better
    A little better all the time (It can't get no worse)
    I have to admit it's getting better
    It's getting better
    Since you've been mine"


    - lyrics from Beatles "Getting Better"
    11 Feb 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • karmike
    , contributor
    Comments (190) | Send Message
    That wasn't a Beatle song, you got a copy of Obama's State of the Union speech!
    12 Feb 2013, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • bb197812
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Billy Bob, really? I agree it doesn't matter where the CEO is but would you argue that morale means nothing? These guys inside know that RJ doesn't even come in the office. There's something about the general leading the infantry into battle as opposed to watching from thousand of miles away. Joe Fresh? You think mom is coming back for Joe Fresh? Soccer Mom is gone and no teenager is steppin foot in JCP. Change is good, but have a flippen plan. Don't just take a 100 year old retailer and pretend you are going to put 'apple dust' on it and make it all better. Free haircuts, coffee bars, coupons that are not 'really' coupons, sales that are 'really' not sales, a message that was so messed up from the start that you let your MVP frances fall on the sword? RJ was given too much credit at Apple- it was all Jobs. Trained chimps could have opened those stores and sold that product. He just happened to be that trained chimp and fortuitous to have come to Apple while Jobs had visions......Go nuts on that JCP stock but watch when CIT turns off the credit- all bets are off....
    11 Feb 2013, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • JCPonderings.weebly.com
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
    James Covert of the Post is full of more dung than his city's sewers.


    In his last 'hit' job article he suggested JCP would begin listing "the fakest prices ever". The fact that JCP would list a compare price on their tag, to Covert, was more fake than Macy's routine practice of placing a jacket at $250... only to try to sell it at $125... but really sell it for $89.


    Google "NYpost consumer waste" and click the link JCPonderings for details.
    11 Feb 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • 033147tm
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
    You can say what you want to about the direction of this company in which I spent 31 years and my entire sole managing. When you walk in a Penney store the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the catalog entrance is nothing but bare tile, the big areas where cash wraps used to be is nothing but bare tile, and the display associates are just getting the Christmas shop set, one then understands that JCP is being poorly managed regardless of the merchandise mix. By contrast, Belks, Dillards, Sears, Kohl's, and all the discount stores were intensely merchandised. When I went into the store in early Feb, my $29.99 jeans are now $40. Any shopper can read between these lines.
    11 Feb 2013, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • jandialord
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Well I am a customer and I like shopping at JC Penney. I don't understand why customers are leaving. I like getting better prices there than what you can get at other retail stores. With the store in a store set up, I think the store looks neater and more creative. I enjoy getting better prices on a daily basis rather than having to keep up with coupons and which specific time it is valid. It doesn't make sense to me that customers would rather go somewhere else and pay more money for the same items.
    11 Feb 2013, 11:31 PM Reply Like
  • karmike
    , contributor
    Comments (190) | Send Message
    Some of you folks keep talking about Joe Fresh as though it will be the savior of this retail giant. I was unfamiliar with this New Canadian import started by a food distributor because nobody in most of the country has ever heard of it. I googled it and read a New York Times article about their Manhattan shop.....read it yourself....cheap fabrics, crazy colors, and problems with design. Penney tried this one time with a really famous desisigner, Halston (I can hear the employees who remember chuckling now!). I'm sorry, forget Joe Fresh and stick with lines people are actually buying and concentrate on MERCHANDISING. That would do more for JCP than the rest of this stuff!
    12 Feb 2013, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • JaneyDoe
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
    They have discontinued their quality signature lines and brought in a new, low quality cheaply made line under the trademark 'jcp'. They have to cheapen up garment construction and fabrics in order to survive, and so far it has not been attracting the audience they were hoping for.
    12 Feb 2013, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Unity1 World News
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    My name is DonJor Craigs, and I worked for J C Penny as a Cosmetologist; I worked for them about seven months, they treated me bad, I got anxiety in the process, I went to the emergency room, blood pressure was almost two hundred, they did'nt care. The told me I could of had a stroke or a heart attack or possibly death. I hav'nt been back to work since Dec. 2, 2010. I also shared some wisdom with them, how to make the company a success,they stole my idea without talking it with me. They created the brand "Unity World Wear", and compare the name of my company is "Unity1 World", now you tell me what you think. I Got the letter I wrote them which is Oct. 2010; They created the brand Feb. 2011. Thats why they are not having success, and I told them, they will always be in a "Reverse Spiral", until they get it right with me. I'm a "Spirit Medium"


    DonJor Craigs
    12 Feb 2013, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • karmike
    , contributor
    Comments (190) | Send Message
    Perhaps they would have listened to a store employee of seven months with more attention had you learned how to spell J C Penney! Of course, that could explain why their results are so atrocious.....maybe they did listen?
    13 Feb 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
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