Can Ron Johnson transform JC Penney into the next Apple?A note out this morning from Goldman Sachs asks this questions and answers maybe. The bank expects a strong performance by Johnson, a former Apple Retail SVP and Target exec, to offset a crappy retail environment over the next year.
Goldman says of the incoming CEO: “[His hire] has sparked
hope that his impressive resume could reverse JC Penney’s flagging share and productivity… Johnson’s resume and potential plan – his tenures at both Target and Apple met with great success – these are two well-run and strongly branded companies that capitalised on secular growth tailwinds.”
So what exactly did Johnson accomplish as SVP of retail at Apple and VP of merchandising at Target?
- Masterminded the Apple Retail Store concept, despite Steve Jobs being initially against it.
- Designed that now-familiar airy look in the Apple Store, going against the age-old mantra of putting as much merchandise as possible in front of the customer.
- Came up with the Genius Bar, the in-store tech support that has become such a huge hit with Apple customers.
- Transformed Target’s stores, bringing the upscale ‘cool’ factor to the retailer, which was a new concept at the time for big discounters.
- Launched exclusive designer lines there, which were a huge hit — the biggest being the Michael Graves line.
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