Will There Be a Genius Bar at Penney’s?


With the mere hiring of a new CEO, the JCPenney brand, which until today has retained a very early 20th century patina, is now linked with the shiny, forward-looking Apple brand.

JCPenney hired away from Apple Inc. Ron Johnson, who joined the computer company in 2000 and led its retail strategy. Enter an Apple Store and you’re very likely to walk out not having spent a dime, but you’ve definitely been sold something big—a lifestyle.

Whether or not Johnson succeeds at being a successful impresario of the JCPenney retail experience, that brand is now on this side of the millennial divide. The hiring of Johnson is a PR rebranding campaign and an ad blitz all in one.


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