“Apple upended the conventional wisdom with its glass-encased stores, which became the most profitable retail outlets in the world at a time when many shoppers were abandoning chains for online shopping,” Rick Newman writes for U.S. News & World Report. “So it made sense for struggling retailer J.C. Penney to hire Ron Johnson, the man who executed Apple’s retail strategy, as the CEO to lead the turnaround at Penney’s.”

“Obviously it didn’t work,” Newman writes. “It’s obvious to say that Penney’s isn’t Apple, but it’s worth exploring why a strategy that’s wildly successful at one retailer could be such a miserable failure at another. Apple has succeeded by offering devices and services that do things more simply and elegantly than the competition. It has cultivated customers who expect to be delighted by Apple products. They show up at an Apple store ready to be impressed, and the results suggest they are. Penney’s customers, by and large, don’t expect to be delighted. They expect decent merchandise, cheap. They’re also willing to make tradeoffs, such as pawing through a disorganized pile of sweaters to find a good deal.”

Newman writes, “At Apple, Johnson had one of the best brands in the world to work with. At Penney, he started with a damaged brand and may have made it worse. Sustaining a winner and creating one, it turns out, are two very different challenges.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

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