JC Penny has been running successfully for close to 90 years. Most entrepreneurs and managers face the same dilemmas at times. The choices one makes are the basis for his or her company success. The CEO of JC Penny Ron Johnson was faced with many management dilemmas. The first of many dilemmas that Ron Johnson was faced with was to innovate or conserve JC Penny. Innovation is important, but one should also focus on new applications and new markets as well. However, the revenues of innovations are in the future. One needs also to get the maximum out of one’s current business. According an article published by Forbes “Ron Johnson did not try and solving the real problem with JC Penny. Sales fell some 25%. The stock dropped 50% He spent lavishly trying to remake the brand.
He modernized the logo, upped the TV ad spend, spruced up stores and implemented a more consistent pricing strategy. But that all was designed to help JC Penney competes in traditional brick-and-mortar retail. Against traditional companies like Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Sears, etc” (Hartung, 2014). If the leader or manager does not invest there comes a time when the current business declines without new innovation to take over JC Penny revenues. If a manager invests too much, it may end up endangering the continuity of the current business. According to Joshua Kennon “J.C. Penney saw sales fall from $19.903 billion in 2007 to $12.985 billion in 2013.
This caused the firm to go from a pre-tax profit of $1.792 billion to pre-tax losses of $1.536 billion, a staggering swing of $3.328 billion. Dividends were slashed, book value destroyed. There were rumors the company was surviving by pushing payable bills and hoarding cash” (Kennon, 2013).
The purpose of learning team C’s research is to identify the most important factors to customers that are considering shopping at J.C. Penney. This statement speaks to the researcher’s attention and states goal or objective of the research. This statement will evaluate errors that were made J.C. Penny’s top management, putting the company into a very vulnerable predicament with the core customers. The factors that will be considered are directly associated with management errors such as:
•Misreading what shoppers want- coupons, sales price/clearance items
•Not testing the ideas in advance- assuming the culture was the same as other companies •Alienated the core customers
•Misreading the JC Penney brand
•Not respecting the JC Penney company overall
From these errors the team will provide research questions to include in the paper, gather the information the is related to the customer most recent shopping experience with the company to develop a proposed research plan to address the most management dilemmas.
Draft of Research Questions
Learning team C intends to research the reasons J.C. Penney had a decline in customer core base and sales which almost led to the demise of the company. This research will be conducted via survey with the intent of possibly salvaging the creditability of the company. Our learning will provide surveys to adults that have shopped J.C. Penny either online or in the store within the last two years. The survey questions used would supply management with opportunities to test potential marketing strategies to revive sales and retain the company’s initial core customer base. LTC will provide the following questions to gather data for research in the survey:
•What is the age group/gender of the participant
•How far from home will he or she be willing to drive to the store
•What is the importance of coupons and sales price/clearance items
•How frequent does the participant shop online or in the store
•How important is the brand name that is provided by the company
•How important is the atmosphere of the store (i.e. Arizona, IZOD, Dockers, etc)
•How important is the culture of store (i.e. is food courts or specialty boutiques important) After compiling a more precise list of question to provide for the survey, we will rank the factors from least to greatest importance to determine the decision making process for J.C. Penney current dilemma.
Eventually, JC Penny did fire Ron Johnson and rehired the previous CEO Mike Ullman, who stills faces big challenges. JC Penny has posted sales drops and losses in its first three quarters. As JC Penny attempts to recover from its dilemmas from the period in which it alienated consumers, and infuriated its employees, its new CEO Mike Ullman, is making headway in trying to purge corporate ranks and bring the customers back to shopping at JC Penny. In business leaders or managers all face some challenges that if left unaddressed such as JC Penny dilemma can massively affect the business. The good news is that there is now a solution in place to help JC Penny return to being successful.
Hartung, A. (2014). Two Wrongs Won’t Fix JC Penney. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/cwe/citation_generator/web_01_01.asp Kennon, J. (2013). The Collapse of J.C. Penney – What Caused It and Can It Be Fixed?. Retrieved from http://www.joshuakennon.com/the-collapse-of-jc-penney-what-caused-it-and-can-it-be-fixed/