I heard the news this morning while driving into work, and there was more detail in the Wall Street Journal. JC Penney is closing down its catalog business – the print version.
I’m not going to fault a company for making decisions which bring its costs in line, or be parochial because we’re losing another print job. What does concern me is the possibility that Penney’s is making a short term decision because of the barbarians at the gate (Ackman, Icahn, Whitworth). These folks have taken equity positions in the company and are not happy with the stock price.
Too many companies, who got rid of their catalogs, later discovered that print drives eyeballs to their websites. It should be folks who have the company and its customers in mind making strategic decisions, not the Wall Street types and the empty suits who just want to make their personal play for wealth. All short-term decisions become long-term decisions.