Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

JC Penny CEO Inventory Apparently Out of Stock

When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is usually the reputation of the business that remains intact. — Warren Buffett

No surprises here, given JCP’s disastrous year. I recently re-watched Ron Johnson’s rebrand presentation from January 2012, and it still makes sense to me. The lesson here is that people are more willing to pay $4 for a towel if it has been marked down from $10 than if the same towel is always four dollars. The perception of a bargain is a stronger purchasing motivator than the actual price.

This news has brought the inevitable speculation that Johnson could return to Apple in the still-vacant SVP Retail spot:

Granted, that’s partly why he left; to find a new challenge in the post-Steve Jobs era at Apple. But funny enough, Apple hasn’t found anyone to fill the position (at least anyone that would accept the job) that could live up to Johnson’s legacy. It certainly made an effort. But that effort involved hiring John Browett away from the U.K. discount electronics retailer Dixons, and it was a total bust.

Apple doesn’t need Johnson — the retail operation appears to be humming along just fine without him. But he was a good fit at the company, and it’s important for them to have someone in charge of retail as the chain expands.

I copped the excellent post title from MG Siegler’s tweet.