JC Penney chief reveals dark side in Macy's lawsuit
Emails from CEO Ron Johnson show a Machiavellian streak in wooing Martha Stewart. Macy's should 'pick up their toys and go home,' he wrote.
Macy's is trying to show that Johnson (pictured), a former Apple (AAPL) executive, schemed to lure domestic diva Martha Stewart away from her long-standing merchandising deal with the department store.
Johnson's emails paint him as gloating over his score against Macy's, reports The New York Post. Macy's attorneys are trying to prove that Johnson had a scheme to trick Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren into dropping its Stewart products.
"We put Terry in a corner," Johnson wrote to Bill Ackman, a hedge-fund manager and a major shareholder of Penney's, the day after he announced a $200 million licensing deal with Stewart.
Johnson also appeared to exult over his department-store rival, writing in the same email, "Normally when that happens and you get someone on the defensive they make bad decisions." He added, "This is good."
In another email, he wrote that "the best way to stop Macy’s from renewing is to make our offensive so strong they simply pick up their toys and go home," according to The Dallas Morning News. When Johnson wrote that, Stewart's deal with Macy's was coming up for renewal, but Macy's didn't pack up its toys. Instead, it ended up renewing with Stewart through 2018.
Penney and Stewart attorneys countered by saying that Johnson's emails were pulled out of context, and argued in their opening arguments that Macy's contract allows for Penney to legally offer its "store-within-a-store" concept with Stewart's home products.
Macy's attorneys, meanwhile, allege that Johnson hunted down a copy of Stewart's confidential Macy's contract, despite advice that doing so was illegal, the Post notes.
So far, it seems Penney's deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) has brought more problems than profits.
Stewart reportedly is insisting that her products for Penney incorporate high-end materials, such as top-quality fabrics, leading some executives to worry the store will lose money on the goods.
Penney originally planned to sell Stewart's products on March 1, but has pushed that back to May 12.
I wouldn't buy anything from penneys,even if they get stewarts products of brand name,especially with the latest controversary about their endorsing the SNL anti christian,anti christ show and refusing to apologise for it or condemn the show on NBC.
I went to their store when they offered a reduced price on mens jeans,they were still $40.00,they never got any jeans at the reduced price.
JC Penney is not doing well because the CEO has no clue what customers want. He has run JC Penney into the ground and it is now one of the businesses that will not be in business very longer. Maybe it was bad before Mr. Johnson but it certainly is bad now and getting worse. I cannot honestly say that I am not a fan of Martha Stewart and I cannot see where her merchandise has done very much for Macys. The same goes for Donald Trump.
At this point in time I think the best thing the JC Penney's board can do is fire Mr. Johnson and get someone who know how to deal with retail.
I use to go to JC Penney and the stores were busy but now they are not busy at all.
can't believe this "MESS" what a shame this lame brain has caused!!!!!!!!!!!
J C PENNEY has been the ultimate store since 1917!!!!!!!
PLEASE PLEASE Board do away with R. Johnson before its to LATE.
I will return to Pennys in a heartbeat, if goes back to being the real Pennys it use to be!!
How does Johnson manage to keep his job? Dose he have scandalous pictures of the board dressed up in those goofy hipster outfits that JCP is pushing these days?
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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