Hoping he could do for Penney’s what he did as an executive at Apple, Johnson was brought in as CEO late in 2011 to revitalize the company. But so far, his ideas of a new pricing scheme and the resulting commercials have only confused and driven away longtime customers, dragging down both sales and the company’s stock price, which is down nearly 50% since he was hired.
And his latest ideas for changes so far have been met with raised eyebrows. Those ideas, unveiled last month, include eliminating cash registers, revamping store interiors to add coffee shops and juice bars and offering places for shoppers to take pilates or yoga classes.
But it seems that Johnson still has one final master stroke up his sleeve. A source close to the company tells The Daily Quarterly exclusively that Johnson will unveil his final, biggest change in the third quarter: a company name change to Walmart.
“He thinks it makes perfect sense,” the source said. “People think Walmart, they think cheap products with varying degrees of quality. But more importantly, it’s the most successful, largest company in the U.S. What better way to change Penney’s image than to change its name to Walmart?”
The source said Johnson doesn’t read the bad press Penney’s has been getting. As a matter of fact, the source isn’t even 100% certain Johnson is able to read. “He’s bold, he’s creative, and only a few dozen business experts in the country think he’s nuts,” said the source. “He doesn’t know that pretty much everybody in retail feels that his hiring was an unmitigated disaster. He’s one more horrible quarter away from proving them right.”