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Apple Store creator failing to remake his retail magic at JCPenney

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In late 2011, JCPenney hired away Apple retail chief Ron Johnson to serve as CEO and reinvigorate the company after two years of declining revenues. But now The New York Times reports that after over $4 billion in lost sales and a year of failed attempts to implement Apple-style strategies at the department store chain, Johnson's seeing the poor performance reflected in a pay cut of 97 percent. Johnson initially simplified pricing, removed discount sales, and shifted the company's focus to lifestyle and product offerings rather than price. But over the course of 2012, Johnson was forced to backtrack on those decisions as he discovered that JCPenney's customers disliked the changes.

Johnson's pay cut isn't as drastic as it seems, as his 2011 pay was elevated due to stock compensation from leaving Apple — but his 2012 pay is still over $11 million lower than what his predecessor last received. The New York Times reports that Johnson is still pushing some successful Apple strategies at the retail chain, including the store-with-in-a-store design, which focuses on small boutiques centered on a single product line. However, a legal battle with Macy's may put a hold on some of these, and in the mean time, JCPenney's stock has dipped over 50 percent since Johnson came on board, and continues to drop.