By early fall 2011, Mr. Johnson was tackling Penney’s pricing,
which he thought used too many discounts. He ignored a study
Penney had just completed on customer preferences, and gave
merchants a one-sheet grid explaining what prices they could use.
“Ron’s response at the time was, just like at Apple, customers
don’t always know what they want,” said an executive who
advocated testing. “We’re not going to test it — we’re
going to roll it out.”
17 months was not long enough to turn around a brand as deep in the hole as JC Penney, but it sounds like slumping sales forced the board’s hand.