JCPenney EVP of product development, design and sourcing Ken Mangone has resigned.He joined JCPenney in 1977, and helped establish the retailer’s private brands.
“We can confirm that Ken Mangone is no longer with the Company,” JCPenney told us in a statement. “We wish Ken continued success and thank him for his years of service to jcpenney.”
The timing is curious. After all, we’ve just entered the most crucial season of the year for retailers.
There was a lot of speculation about why JCPenney didn’t pursue holiday shoppers as hard as rivals like Macy’s going into Black Friday, and this abrupt resignation might have something to do with it.
JCPenney opened Friday morning instead of late Thursday night like its major competitors.
“It seems unlikely that the retailer will be a particularly hot place to shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Stores will open at 6 a.m. on Friday morning—not Thanksgiving night, like Walmart, Toys R Us,” wrote Brad Tuttle at TIME. “And because JCPenney’s prices are lower to begin with, the Black Friday discounts don’t seem all that amazing.”
“It says volumes as to the intricacies of employing a new shop in shop model,” NBG Productions chief equities analyst Brian Sozzi told us. “Many different suppliers, moving pieces and keep in mind, the inventory is not being bought deep so I wonder how supportive some of the bigger names are really being.”
“Also, it reflects how tightly Johnson is managing the company (looks as tight as his mentor, Steve Jobs), which is understandable given how hard he has sold the shop in shop strategy to the investor base (basically, it’s his reputation on the line),” Sozzi said.
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