J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is out, according to a press release sent out by the company. The store's former CEO, Mike Ullman, will replace him. This news should not come as a surprise to anyone who's been watching the Penney saga unfold. Johnson, a former Apple and Target exec who joined J.C. Penney in November 2011, tried to bring the long-struggling store into the 21st Century with an updated design, tons of designer collaborations, lower prices, and the elimination of discounts. (Each of these tactics, particularly the last one, alienated what's left of Penney's loyal customers. People are creatures of habit. They're used to markdowns. Even if a product is cheaper in the first place, they can't help but want to see it discounted.) Anyway, Johnson also brought in some great brands to Penney, including Martha Stewart (whoops, that resulted in a lawsuit), Michelle Obama favorite Duro Olowu, MNG by Mango and Joe Fresh. These were all great prospects. But no matter how hard Johnson tried, no matter how good his strategy was, it was never going work. Here's why.
Playing the name game in London is far from easy: So many cool young designers, so many unusual names, and only a week to make sense of them all. It’s largely due to the aversion many Brit design talents have to being crafted into the sort of the fashion celebs we adore stateside. No worries; the clothes spoke volumes for themselves, as London dialed down the quirked, and turned out one of the most sophisticated seasons in recent years. See for yourself!
The First Lady wrapped her week-long visit to South Africa yesterday in Cape Town, where she dropped to the floor to do push-ups with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Cape Town Stadium for an event to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and teach kids the importance of physical activity. Of course, Mrs. O wasn't wearing gym clothes to do push-ups with the Archbishop (she also played soccer with him).