I found this picture on MacStories. I have no idea where they found it.
It reads like half manifesto, and half self-defense. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, former Apple Retail chief and new CEO of JC Penney Ron Johnson outlines what he sees as the challenge for anyone in retail. And he doesn’t think it’s all about the product.
One of the most common comments I heard was that the Apple Store succeeded because it carried Apple products and catered to the brand's famously passionate customers. Well, yes, Apple products do pull people into stores. But you don't need to stock iPads to create an irresistible retail environment. You have to create a store that's more than a store to people.
If it was just about product, he points out, people would buy Apple kit at Walmart, Best Buy, or Target, each of which usually sells the products they have in common with Apple Retail stores at a discount. And if everyone did that, Apple Retail wouldn't be the success that it is.
Johnson says, “retailers shouldn't be asking, ‘How do we create a store that's going to do $15 million a year?’ They should be asking, ‘How do we reinvent the store to enrich our customers' lives?’”
So how’s he plan to do that with JC Penney? Not surprisingly he doesn’t say, though even if he did it wouldn’t necessarily work for everyone else.
There isn't one solution. Each retailer will need to find its own unique formula. But I can say with confidence that the retailers that win the future are the ones that start from scratch and figure out how to create fundamentally new types of value for customers.
(Read the full Johnson here.)