Tag Archive for ‘Ron Johnson’

Enjoy: A Genius in Your Living Room ➝

Joe Caiati on Ron Johnson’s new retail startup, Enjoy:

When I worked at Apple’s Genius Bar in one of their Flagship Manhattan stores, me and co-workers would be asked often by customers if they could take us home with them. Some were jokingly asking, most of them weren’t.

There is no shortage of entitled, technologically inept or busy people in Manhattan who would pay for a service like Enjoy, let alone use it for free. But many aren’t buying new expensive gadgets all the time and I’m wondering if Johnson and team are banking on large city’s to make up for the infrequencies.

I think the economics of Enjoy are sound. Retail space in San Francisco and New York City is expensive and being able to remove that cost entirely in exchange for salaried employees is a worthwhile tradeoff.

And, I don’t think they’ll have too much trouble keeping their emoloyees’ schedule booked. The nice thing about not having retail space is that you can have as many or as little employees as sales require — expanding and contracting your team depending on how much you sell not the square footage of your retail space.

Joe also has some inside information on the experts Enjoy has been hiring for launch:

Sources have told me that prior to Enjoy’s launch, Johnson had been aggressively poaching Apple retail upper-management and Genii who he once used to be Senior Vice President of. One source described a mass exodus from the Grand Central Flagship store with a rumored number of over fifteen employees leaving.

It’s people he’s already familiar with and has a good understanding of how they’re trained and what they know. I think he’d be foolish not to poach these employees. Especially considering that they’re among the best retail employees in the world.

Enjoy seems like it’s set up to be a success, my only concern would be whether or not they’ll capture enough mindshare to make an impact — brick and mortar retail presence goes a long way towards promoting your existence and the company might need to purchase a lot of advertising to overcome that shortcoming.

JCPenney Resurrects Its Catalog ➝

With this, JCPenney has veered as far away from Ron Johnson’s vision for the company as they possibly could. I still believe Johnson would have turned the company around given enough time, but I suppose the shareholders were more interested in quick gains than long term value — they’d rather have a catalog business and half renovated stores now, than the coolest store in the mall later.

The new catalogs will begin shipping to select customers in March focusing on former home department shoppers.

Trust in Your Imagination and Instinct ➝

Ron Johnson has a wonderful conversation at Stanford in which he talks about getting his start in retail, working with Steve Jobs, and his time at JCPenney.

“2011 Probably isn’t the Year They Should Be Aiming For” ➝

Ken Segall:

So, for you marketing enthusiasts, here’s my JCP story. It’s loaded with the things we love about this business: drama, crushed dreams, out-of-control egos and unintentional comedy.

I truly believe Ron Johnson was on course to fix JCPenney. He was ousted too soon and the company has gone back to their old, destructive ways. Ken’s recounting of the timeline  between 2011 and now is the most informative writing I’ve seen on the subject.

Ron Johnson ‘Steps Down’ as CEO of JC Penney ➝

CNBC:

JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson is out and Mike Ullman will rejoin the company as CEO, receiving an annual base salary of $1 million.

I was excited about everything that Ron Johnson did while he was at JC Penney and I was expecting the company to be in a much better position five years down the road. It would have been rough until then, but just walking through one of their partially renovated store was enough to convince me that they were heading in the right direction.

I don’t doubt that he was forced to step down and I think it was the most boneheaded decision the company could have made. Turning around an ailing company isn’t easy and Johnson had what it took to get the job done.