OPERATIONS

Ron Johnson: ‘I was a terrible fit for J.C. Penney’

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Ron Johnson, who has been keeping a relatively low profile since he was ousted from J.C. Penney in April 2013, took to the podium in May, as a guest lecturer at Stanford University. Johnson, a graduate of Stanford and a member of its board, was a guest speaker at the university’s View From the Top series, where he discussed with Stanford Graduate School of Business students Penney, Apple and Target and the lessons learned over his career in retail.

Looking back on his time at Penney, Johnson believes it was the pace of his transformation plan, as opposed to the plan itself, that was wrong. It was too fast for a company as traditional as Penney.

“Most of the things I’d done at Apple and Target worked and so you think, well, this will work too. And the reality is, you know, we moved too quickly. It was too fast for the board, the customers, employees, and shareholders,” he said.

Johnson told the students he asked to resign from Penney three times.

"I resigned three times," he said. "In February I offered to resign, in March I offered to resign, and finally in April, the board chair said ‘Ron, we’re going to accept your resignation.’"

Johnson said he ultimately came to the conclusion that Penney was not the right place for him.

“It was disappointing because I really believed we would make it work, but it was a relief because the lesson I learned is I was a terrible fit for J.C. Penney,’’ he said. “I’m a creative person, here’s a company that isn’t uber-creative. I believe in change, this company’s much more comfortable, like many people are, with the status quo.”

Click here to see the video of Johnson’s Q&A at Stanford.

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ECRM: Retail circular advertising trends, June 2014

BY CSA STAFF

ECRM compared retail circular advertising in June 2013 versus June 2014 and noted trends occurring across top retail chains. Both Walmart and Toys “R” Us experienced some extreme shifts versus last year. Toys “R” Us did not run any circulars during the month of June, down from two last year. Instead, it ran only web and email promotions. The inverse occurred in January, when it ran no print ads in 2013 and only a single short circular in 2014. These short circulars appeared to be the standard outside of toy-related holidays, yet June was the first month without any circular presence whatsoever for Toys “R” Us.

Walmart, on the other hand, saw its circular counts more than double, from five in 2013 to 11 in 2014. Its page counts slightly decreased, however, leading to a large reduction in the density of the circular, with much more targeted, category-specific circulars being used. Five of these highly-targeted circulars with six or fewer pages were released in June 2014, while only one was seen in 2013. Three of Walmart’s circulars in 2013 consisted of 24 pages or more, while 2014 saw just one of this length.

About ECRM’s Business Intelligence:
ECRM’s Ad Comparisons technology captures promotional data from the top U.S. and Canadian retailers in all major markets. Ad Comparisons captures more than 40 metrics for each ad block and provides hundreds of analytic reports to put the advertising data in context. Ad Comparisons takes an individual approach to ensure all data and reports fit the needs of each user.

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Cal-Maine Foods achieves eggcellent milestone

BY CSA STAFF

Cal-Maine Foods isn’t due to report its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 31 until the end of the month, but already it has reached annual sales of more than 1 billion dozen eggs for fiscal 2014 with an expected total of 1.014 billion dozen fresh eggs sold.

The milestone marks a new record year of sales for Cal-Maine Foods and the first time any domestic or world egg supplier has surpassed annual sales of more than 1 billion dozen eggs.

“We are very excited to achieve this important milestone for Cal-Maine Foods,” said Dolph Baker, chairman, president and CEO. “Our sales for the year reflect strong organic growth as well as the additional volumes related to recent acquisitions. We have continued to benefit from favorable consumer demand for eggs throughout fiscal 2014. Industry studies show that eggs are found in nearly every household as consumers enjoy eggs’ versatility and the variety of dishes that include eggs. Furthermore, 85% of today’s egg consumers view eggs as a healthy part of their diet. We strive to meet this demand by offering a full complement of conventional, cage-free, organic and nutritionally enhanced eggs. We are proud of our record of growth and equally proud of our team of employees who have worked so hard to achieve this milestone for Cal-Maine Foods.”

Cal-Maine Foods is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic and nutritionally enhanced eggs. The company, which is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States and sells the majority of its shell eggs in approximately 29 states across the Southwestern, Southeastern, Midwestern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

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