Every one is throwing stones and is offering multiple reasons for what went wrong at JCPenney. The reasons for failure are easy to categorize, and I sense a bunker mentality is settling over the retail community.
In a business where real change comes very infrequently, the danger of the JCP fiasco may be the end of trying to do anything innovative. Many companies try and fail, but learn their lessons and bounce back by trying again. The worst thing JCP can do is to go backwards to the status quo.
The vision Ron Johnson brought to the table was revolutionary. The execution in hindsight was clearly flawed. Unfortunately very few people even got to experience what “the vision” was, as few elements were completed. It could have been a game changer for the retail community.
Current JCP management has a very focused and talented leader. The key investors in the company are smart and have the future in mind. I hope this team will execute properly and harness the vision and innovation that Johnson began. It would create a sorely needed new, and unique, customer experience.
Shoppers are always looking for something new. If they try it and like it, they will come back and tell others. Word of mouth has a very big mouth…it’s called twitter and Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and the rest of them.
The poor execution of a vision should not be an excuse to abandon innovation.