Ron Johnson's contributions to the Apple stores were many, but it remains to be seen if that experience will translate to JCPenney where he's now CEO. After all, the two companies couldn't be more different. Apple is a technology company with very few products and a loyal fan base. JCPenney, on the other hand, is a promotions-driven mass-merchant with many products and large stores anchoring malls.
I doubt the genius bar will fly at Penney's.
Yesterday the journey began when JCPenney revealed its four-year blueprint to bring the brand back from the brink. The focus is on providing what the American shopper wants. This includes dropping the plethora of promotions and simplify pricing. The redesigned logo is clearly influenced by our flag, and the in-store experience is changing to better reflect main street, complete with a town square in the middle of the store. Susan Reda did a fine job describing the changes, so I'll just refer you to her article for details.
Only time will tell if the changes make a difference, but I must say its impressive that JCPenney is willing to make such sweeping changes. From what I've seen so far, they are on the right track.
I'll close with a video announcing the changes, which are set to begin on February 1st.