Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JC Penney provides Tony Perkins with another chance to demonstrate that he is full of crap

Tony Perkins
In some ways Family Research Council is similar to National Organization for Marriage. Neither organization employs executives who have actually run things. None come from environments that provide management development training. The demonstrate that they know absolutely nothing about business.

JC Penney was in decline. In a bold move, the board hired Ron Johnson who had run Apple's retail store division for a decade. Johnson's strategy was to transform JCP from a general merchandiser into a specialty retailer with boutiques within the stores.

Johnson's strategy of filling Penney with branded boutiques and doing away with clearances and coupons appeared to alienate its core shoppers. The company lost $4.3 billion in sales in 2012. In the fourth quarter, which includes the make-or-break holiday season, sales dropped 28%. Bye-bye Mr. Johnson.

Of course, according to Tony Perkins, it was the gay that doomed JC Penney. By the way, the statement attributed to Ullman about alienating customers had nothing to do with cultural issues. He reinstated coupons and clearance sales to bring back core customers.
Plenty of companies have argued that natural marriage is "bad for business"--but they'll have a tough time persuading J.C. Penney. After a series of radical decisions, the retailer is struggling to survive a 25% drop in sales. It started in 2011 when the company hired Ellen DeGeneres, a vocal proponent of same-sex "marriage" as its spokesperson. The choice drew fire from organizations like the American Family Association (AFA) because it was a departure from the store's longstanding values. When AFA's One Million Moms complained, J.C. Penney's new CEO, Ron Johnson, stubbornly dug in his heels. Then, on Mothers' Day, the company shocked customers with a blatant endorsement of homosexuality in an ad that featured two moms--followed by a two-dads ad for Fathers' Day. Coupled with an overhaul of the stores' pricing system, the stock never recovered.

Now, months after the experiment failed, J.C. Penney has fired Johnson and replaced him with the former CEO, Myron Ullman. Hinting that the problems are more political than the media is reporting, Ullman said bluntly, "There's no reason to try and alienate customers who want to shop at J.C. Penney." Whether the retailer will learn from its mistakes is yet to be seen. But J.C. Penney's freefall should serve as a warning to other companies who are itching to jump on the same-sex bandwagon. Pandering to those who want to redefine marriage (and the rest of society with it) may earn you a pat on the back from the Human Rights Campaign, but in the long term, it's bad policy. Americans want corporate neutrality in the culture wars, and when they don't find it, they'll go elsewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.