And so the JC Penney mass exodus continues.
The latest Ron Johnson (the recently ousted former CEO) hire to leave the struggling retailer? Beloved menswear street style dandy, Nickelson Wooster, who was appointed to a creative director position back in April of last year.
Two weeks prior to Ron Johnson’s departure, Wooster tellingly opened up about his employer at a WWD Men’s Wear Summit. “I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but [we need to] make cute shit,” Wooster said. “If we have compelling product, people will come into the store. I firmly believe that’s the job of merchants. Am I done yet?” Alas, he is done, according to the New York Post.
Wooster follows other Johnson hires–operating chief Mike Kramer, chief talent officer Dan Walker and creative head Mike Fisher–out the door and onto the unemployment line. “[Wooster] changed his mind constantly and didn’t communicate with anybody except his little circle of favorites,” a source told the paper.
This isn’t the first job Wooster’s lost abrubtly. Back in 2011, he was fired from a similar gig as men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman under mysterious circumstance. Neither he nor the luxury retailer ever said why he was let go.
So what exactly does this mean for JC Penney? It seems like the retailer is back pedaling and trying to rebuild the brand as it was pre-Ron Johnson. In addition to hiring Mike Ullman, who was Johnson’s predecessor, they’ve re-hired Ken Mangone, who previously held Wooster’s position.
Moving backwards to move forward? We’re watching.