J.C. Penney is pleading publicly for its customers to come back to its stores, releasing a new commercial apologizing for a jumble of changes instituted by recently ousted chief executive Ron Johnson.
The 30-second video went live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, featuring a soothing female voice and an array of images of beautiful young women floating about their daily lives.
“It’s no secret, recently J.C. Penney changed,” the ad goes. “Some changes you liked, and some you didn’t. But what matters with mistakes is what we learn.”
The narrator continues: “We learned a very simple thing: to listen to you, to hear what you need, to make your life beautiful. Come back to J.C. Penney. We heard you. Now we’d love to see you.”
Reactions have flooded the retailer’s social media sites. On YouTube, Jeff Klopfer commented that he’s watched the video four times and nearly cried.
“JCP has been a part of my family's life for generations,” he wrote. “Welcome back JCP!”
Another user, ArmyFtBall, was less forgiving.
“Return to being a family friendly store & your customers will come back,” the user commented. “It has to be more than talk.”
April has been tumultuous for J.C. Penney. Johnson left his post of a year and a half, replaced by his predecessor Myron E. Ullman III. Several other executives followed suit.
The department store chain took up a five-year, $1.75-billion loan from Goldman Sachs and drew $850 million from a $1.85 billion credit line. Billionaire financier George Soros announced via a regulatory filing that he took a 7.9% stake in the retailer.
On Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded J.C. Penney’s rating, saying that the Goldman Sachs loan “will not solve JCP’s longer term performance concerns nor reduce the level of anticipated cash burn at JCP over the next twelve months.”
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