retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Ron Johnson, the new CEO of JC Penney, has sent a letter to the retailer's customer base introducing himself and trying to put the company's new pricing policies in some context. The letter reads as follows:

Dear valued customer:

You've probably heard about recent changes at jcpenney. I'm honored to say that I'm one of them.

I'm Ron Johnson, and I came here because I have a lifelong passion for retailing - and jcpenney has been one of America's favorite stores for over a hundred years. My goal is to make jcpenney your favorite place to shop.

I've asked our team to innovate in many ways - to help you look and live better - and to make shopping more enjoyable.

While you will see many changes, you can rest assured that we'll never lose sight of our founder's values. When James Cash Penney built his first retail stores over a century ago, he called them 'The Golden Rule," because treating customers with respect was his highest priority.

One of Mr. Penney's guiding principles was offering low prices every day - instead of running a series of "special sales." We're honoring Mr. Penney by returning to his pricing policy, so you'll find great prices every time you visit.

We've also made it easier to return items, we're bringing in more great brands, adding excitement to our presentation, offering free back-to-school haircuts for kids, and much more.

Basically, we're putting you and your family first, trying to give you new reasons to smile every time you visit a jcpenney store.

You'll see many innovations in the coming months, and I'll keep you informed in a series of letters like this. I hope you'll let me know how we're doing, and share any ideas that could help us do better. Just click the link below to send me a note.

On behalf of the jcpenney team, thank you for shopping with us.

KC's View:
I continue to believe that what Johnson is trying to do makes a lot of sense, and, if it works, will set JC Penney on a more sustainable path. I just don't know if he's got the time to pull it off...