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Michael Francis Departs JC Penney

I’ve been watching JCP with interest since they began their transformation in 2011. I thought it was fuzzy and ill-conceived then, and the results support my hypothesis. The work that Michael Francis did at Target was brilliant but not transferable strategically and the message, as the article states, was never clear. But the problem is greater than that (which suggests it is Johnson who should be leaving, not Francis.) Americans have been programmed to seek sales. That’s why retailers run them frequently, why outlet malls are so popular and why online flash sales have exploded. So why did JCP, a declining brand, think they could buck that trend and win consumers? Props for trying to create a new model, flops for understanding the consumer…

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