Update at 4:54 p.m.: JC Penney just sent me a statement. As expected, it makes no mention of One Million Moms:
Michael's departure does not signify a change to jcpenney's long-term transformation plans. We remain focused on our vision to becoming America's favorite store through great product and exciting new brands, a dynamic shops environment and an ongoing commitment to treating customers Fair and Square.
Original Post: In October, JC Penney picked former Target exec Michael Francis as its president and head of a "dream team" formed to transform JC Penney from an outmoded relic of 1950s consumer culture into, in the words of JC Penney Chief Executive Ron Johnson, America's favorite store.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
That dream lasted all of eight months. Francis was ousted yesterday with no explanation from the company. The Wall Street Journal, which is typically on top of these things, speculates that his departure could be tied to a marketing strategy that confused customers, what with the pledge to offer lower prices and do away with gimmicky "sales," then the quiet reversion to
sales "best price Fridays," then coming back around and embracing sales. Others speculate that it was a double-digit plunge in same-store sales, or plummeting stock prices.
That's about what you'd expect from those Jesus-loathing media types, always seeking a secular explanation, but it ignores the crystal-clear evidence that Francis' departure was an act of God, or, more specifically, of God acting through his earthly bludgeon, One Million Moms. The group, which single-handedly destroyed the otherwise masterful television series GCB and The Playboy Club, has not yet claimed credit for vanquishing this foe as it tends to do on its website, but just track the sequence of events.
About two weeks ago, JC Penney unveiled a Father's Day ad that showed a gay couple playing with -- and corrupting by their very presence -- their adopted children. OMM calls for a boycott. JC Penney, still crippled from OMM's protest over its hiring of uber-gay Ellen Degeneres as its spokeswoman (how else do you explain the dropping sales?), had no choice but to repent of its sacrilegious ways and fire the man responsible for dragging the heretofore respectable American corporation into the clutches of Satan. "If your right hand causes you to sin" and whatnot.
Not to put words in the mouth of OMM, but it's safe to say you can once again shop at JC Penney without compromising your immortal soul. It goes without saying that JC Penney's bank accounts will now overfloweth with the cash of the righteous and that it will be the favorite store of the real America.