From Apple to J.C. Penney: Retail's Ron Johnson Makes Big Move

By CIOinsight

J.C. Penney names Ron Johnson -- widely credited with helping develop Apple's innovative retail presence -- as its new CEO. Johnson was Apple's senior vice president of retail. The computer giant is actively recruiting to find his replacement.

Over the past 10 years, Apple stores have expanded from two outlets -- in Tyson's Corner, Va., and Glendale, Calif. -- to more than 300 locations worldwide.

The stores themselves embraced the same clean, minimalist aesthetic of Apple devices, heavy on the glass and chrome accents, with any metallic coldness offset by blonde-wood or pale floors. Apple used census and customer data to determine the best retail locations, and wrestled with how to best present and sell a limited product line, according to the book "Inside Steve's Brain," by Leander Kahney.

The book says Johnson advocated some of the Apple stores' more iconic features, including the Genius Bar. J.C. Penney, which has closed some of its stores, will present an altogether different challenge for Johnson, who spent years working as an executive at Target before joining Apple. According to Bloomberg, the department-store chain is looking to reduce overall expenses in order to compensate for a rising cost in materials.

For more, read the eWeek article Ron Johnson Bringing Apple Revival Experience to J.C. Penney.

This article was originally published on 06-15-2011