J.C. Penney's attempt to revive its retail operations under former CEO Ron Johnson have failed by any measure. Interim CEO Myron Ullman noted on a recent earnings call that the store attracted fewer new customers in 2012 than any other year in the previous 10. The retailer is reverting to some of its former practices, such as emphasizing private brands. It is also trying new tactics such as equipping sales staff with mobile devices.

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