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Unfortunately for JCPenney, it turns out people really, really like sales. As part of a brand revamp that began in February, the company rolled out a new no-sale strategy, which was intended to give customers products at the price they want them all the time, rather than making them waiting for a coupon or discount. It's not going so well over there at Penney, however: The stock has lost more than a third of its value since a "disastrous" earnings report in mid-May, when Penney's posted a $163 million loss and said sales fell 20% in the first three months of its fiscal year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So, naturally, heads are rolling over at JCPenney. President Michael Francis got the boot on Monday after just eight months on the job, and CEO Ron Johnson will be taking over his job.
And he'll be bringing sales back, right? Nope. "I think the strategy is working well," he said. "I'm quick to learn and quick to act, but we will not waver."
Well, at least the man is committed. So to make up for all those customers who aren't shopping the sales that don't exist any more, Johnson is pushing his "shop in shop" plan, which will go into action this August. The idea is to have boutique-style stores showcasing vendors like Levi Strauss and house brands like Liz Claiborne, as well as new, exclusive partnerships with brands such as Martha Stewart, Nanette Lepore and Betsey Johnson, the WSJ reports.
It's pretty clear from the tone of just about every write-up out there that no one in the industry thinks this is going to work, however. So, given that, and Francis' recent ousting, how are things looking for Johnson? "I'm doing my best," he told the WSJ.
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