Slate’s Matthew Yglesias headed to a JC Penney in Wheaton, Md. this week to see if the troubling news for the Plano-based company — a $427 million loss this quarter, a comparable-stores fall of 32 percent, possibly the “worst quarter in retail history” — was really that bad. Turns out, yep:
So I took the Metro to the Maryland suburbs for a visit to the JCPenney in the Wheaton Plaza Mall to see if Johnson really is reviving the legendary chain. There is no evidence that Johnson has remade much of anything. Everything that I always find alienating and unpleasant about the basic department store experience is still there. The store is too big and too disorganized. Products are sometimes clustered by functional category and sometimes by brand, with a confusing mix of house brands and real ones. Right at the door a sign invites you to enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the store, which really is a change. But why would you want that? There’s no place to sit in the store and no synergy between laptop use and shopping there. Just for kicks, I had my iPhone hop on the Wi-Fi network only to discover that the connection speeds were noticeably slower than Verizon LTE.
Nobody was ever driven into bankruptcy by unreliable Wi-Fi, but that’s the Ron Johnson Era in a nutshell. Instead of building on what the people who like JCPenney liked about JCPenney, he undertook a series of essentially arbitrary changes that alienated some without drawing anyone new in.
At least they didn’t lay off a bunch of workers then tweet “We made it to Friday. #GroupHug #Cheers.” Wait.
In a piece about Anvil Pub’s 32-ounce Bloody Mary, CentralTrack’s Melissa Mack:
Our reputation here in Dallas is that we like everything big. Our hair, our football stadiums, you name it.
Funny, then, that most Bloody Mary options in the area brunch scene are served rather bare — just some vodka, a little mix, some salt around the rim and maybe a few accouterments thrown in (maybe an asparagus stalk, a lemon wedge or a couple of other things along those lines).
A rambling, occasional, rootin’, tootin’, calf-ropin’ series about writers who use Texas and Dallas clichés in their pieces.
Take a quick stroll through the city’s list of candidates for the May City Council race and one will jump out immediately: Ozumba Lnuk-X. Yes, he has an interesting name, but his mention on the list also jumps out for other reasons: he’s currently awaiting trial for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Morning News‘ Rudy Bush had the scoop back in October:
It seems that he’s been in jail – charged with shooting a man twice in the back with a .22 revolver after they got into a fistfight at a bus stop on Fort Worth Avenue. People who frequent City Hall will instantly recognize the chief. He has spent years coming to council meetings wrapped in chains (first real, later plastic) and complaining about the arrest and imprisonment of his son on what he believes were trumped up charges.
His speeches to council would indicate he is angry and disturbed. But, in several conversations over the years, I’ve found the chief – given name Adam Woods – to be a bright and personable guy, albeit with an abiding pain over his son’s fate. What he hopes the council can do for him is unclear. But he was such a regular speaker that , as I wrote back in 2010, I worried about him whenever he didn’t show up. With good cause, apparently.
Lnuk-X is challenging Monica Alonzo in District 6. According to court records, he was scheduled to have a hearing yesterday, after receiving a continuance on Feb. 12. No word on what happened yet. The police report for the incident is after the jump:
Less money, more money, whatever. Let’s play some games and listen to some music. Today’s game is Portal, where you cut into wormholes and defy the laws of time and space. Cut, get it?
Today’s soundtrack, if you don’t like the only version of “The First Cut is the Deepest” that matters: Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Trick Daddy, “Luxury Tax,” Brother Ali, “Letter From the Government,” Q and Not U, “End the Washington Monument (Blinks Goodnight),” Jay-Z, “Politics as Usual“
Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was scratched from the lineup because of what the club called “sensitivity in his left arm” — apparently caused by a tattoo that Andrus spent nine hours getting two days earlier. He wanted a likeness of his late father, Emilo Andrus.
The best thing about octogenarian oilmen is that they tend to have names like T. Boone Pickens. The second-best thing is that they do whatever the hell they want. Which explains, of course, how the aforementioned Pickens has made the unlikely jump from glorified geologist to Dallas’ biggest rock star. Single-handedly, Pickens is: solving the nation’s energy crisis, rescuing Dallas heiresses from the clutches of no-good grifters, and, when necessary, getting Drake to shut up.
As befits a celebrity, the man’s every mundane move seizes headlines. But amidst the flurry of excitement that surrounds what Pickens is doing, we fail to notice the awesomely comical stuff the 84-year-old is saying. As you must know, the third-best thing about octogenarian oilmen: they say whatever the hell they want, too. Today’s gems come from this week’s Rotary Club of Dallas-sponsored Q&A with Pickens.
-On successfully predicting fluctuations in gas prices: “I just listen to what the Saudi guy says.” (Note of clarification: Pickens was not referring to any “Saudi guy” in particular.)
While my fellow interns were facing the perils of fact-checking, I spent my Hump Day jump-splitting on the steps of the Texas Capitol and schmoozing with Gov. Rick Perry. Why, you ask?
I’m one of 39 girls that have the honor of donning the blue and white star-spangled uniform as Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. (Insert hair flip.) During the season we spend our weekends in Jerry’s World, and in the off-season we can be spotted anywhere from hockey games in Georgia to, well, the steps of the Capitol.
As a rookie cheerleader born and raised in Louisiana, these past months have been similar to a ride on the old Texas Giant rollercoaster at Six Flags. Fast-paced, and a little bumpy and exhilarating. But, I digress. We’ll save those stories for a different post.
It’s only one day, but to quote our partner, London Broadcasting’s Phil Hurley, “This just doesn’t happen in this business.”
D Living, hosted by Kimberly Whitman and Hilary Kennedy, was #1 in its 10 a.m. time slot yesterday among adults 18-49, beating out The View at #2.
D: The Broadcast with Lisa Pineiro, Suzie Humphreys, Pat Smith, and Courtney Kerr came in at #2 in its 9 a.m slot against — ugh — Jerry Springer. But don’t despair about the DFW market: we were only a tenth of a rating point behind. My bet is that Jerry will be toast in another week or two.
Here’s the deal. We launched these programs on Monday of last week. As of today, they’ve only been on the air for nine days. (How long has Jerry been on? How old is that guy?) We launched on an independent station — KTXD, Channel 47 — that until now, few people have heard of, with Daniel Boone re-runs as our lead-in. It is a credit to Phil Hurley’s vision that he believed the D brand could break through to grab the attention of Dallas viewers.
To Phil’s point, the only promotion we’ve done during what we thought was a soft launch has been in D Magazine, dmagazine.com, and through social media — no radio, no billboards, no promotional give-aways or tricks. In a way, we’ve done an experiment in exercising the power of the D-branded print and online channels to launch us in a new medium.
Congratulations to our stars, the lovely ladies who are creating hilarious and informative local television every morning! When we first started talking, Phil told me this TV business was kinda fun. Now I see why.
Want to come work with us? We’re looking to hire in our sales department. Here are the details:
D Magazine Sales Professional Qualifications
D Magazine Partners is seeking a highly motivated, seasoned Advertising Sales Executive to drive sales revenue and growth for the company. This is a “hunter” role and provides exceptional players with uncapped earning potential as well as professional development.
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The group called Ben Fountain’s book “a wise, sharply insightful examination of war, class, and celebrity in America.” I agree. You should read it. It’s also the rare book where the paperback cover (right) is just as good as the hardback.
Actually, take a look at all of these covers. They’re fantastic.
Fun facts about March. Well, ladies, it’s Women’s History Month. This is also the month when some speechifying gentleman declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!” and Julius Caesar got turned into Swiss cheese. Just give me the weekend, honestly. No need for bloodshed.
But let’s talk about death anyway. Visiting Yale professor Shelly Kagan is giving a guest lecture at SMU, and he sounds like a super interesting fellow. For one thing, he appears to be in the preeminent lecturer on death. He teaches a philosophy course that’s all about the stuff that comes up as soon as we start contemplating our eventual shuffle off this mortal coil. (You can actually take his course for free, thanks to Yale’s cool Open Courses program). But I do like the idea of hearing him speak in person, which we can do when he delivers “Why is death bad for you?” this afternoon. If you can possibly jump ship for an extended lunch, it sounds like an excellent use of your hour.
Tonight, there is the ever-enjoyable Kelly Clarkson: Burleson native, speaker of truths, belter of patriotic and break-up anthems. She’s at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, a concert to which you can still obtain tickets. Now, here’s something I’ve wondered. There’s a whole big plotline on Nashville, a very awesome TV show, that revolves around a don’t-call-me-aging country superstar and her refusal to put out a greatest hits album because it makes her seem old. Is this the general consensus? Because Kelly Clarkson already has one, apparently. Anyway, not that important. What’s important is that you don’t really want to do anything in Grand Prairie besides this concert (and maybe Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, if that’s your bag), so perhaps just close your eyes and point.
With all this talk about air-traffic control and furloughs and national parks and F-35s, there’s a bunch of stuff around here that we’d like to sequester instead:
-That pedestrian crossing sign at the Pearl Street/Ross Avenue intersection that flashes “72, 71, 70…” then an immediate orange hand when you’re a quarter of the way across the street. SEQUESTERED.
- The 35 mile-per-hour speed
trap limit on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. SEQUESTERED.
- Mixologists. Do you have liquor? A glass? Insert A into B. I will pay you for it. SEQUESTERED.
- Calling science “The Boogeyman.” SEQUESTERED.
- SMU frats, because man! those have been a real fun time lately haven’t they? SEQUESTERED.
- Secession. SEQUESTERED. (Which sounds like some kind of Rush cover band, or maybe a Georgetown a-cappella group.)
- The words foodie, artisan, and hipster. None of those mean anything. SEQUESTERED.
- Saying things are always bigger in Texas. SEQUESTERED.
- Ice skating rinks in parks that are doing awesome on their own. SEQUESTERED.
- The eye of Sauron. SEQUESTERED.
Feel free to add your own.
The Pentagon last night lifted the temporary order that ground the Fort Worth-assembled F-35 fighter last week, the AP reports. No additional cracks were found in the 51-plane fleet. The only cracks, it seems, are in the project’s budget. (High hat! All week! Tip your bartenders! Get home safe!)
It’s going to be tough to top last month’s winner, “10 most beautiful asses,” but we’ll try. These, remember, are reproduced exactly as they appeared in our analytics:
- TIS CHELSEA HANDLER A HEAVY DRINKER
- 2020 sex movie
- FREE MARGARITAS
- sex boy
- Deep fried jambalaya!!!
- best Yorkie groomer in Dallas
- BIG MANS shoes in Dallas Texas
And the best:
- Doctor Banjo (which actually brings you to Dr. Chaim Banjo, a Mesquite internist)
If we’ve learned anything this month, it’s that we’re all sex-crazed alcoholics who don’t understand the power of CAPS LOCK.
D: The Broadcast, 9 a.m.
Hosted by Lisa Pineiro, Pat Smith, Suzie Humphreys and Courtney Kerr
D Living , 10 a.m.
Hosted by Hilary Kennedy and Kimberly Whitman
D-TV is available on all local cable providers.
AT&T 47 | DirecTV 47 | Dish 47 | Charter 22 / 746 (HD) | Time Warner 24 / 429 (HD) | Verizon 18 / 518 (HD)