JOHNSON’S UPDATE: J.C. Penney ’s chief executive officer Ron Johnson has taken to touching base directly to customers. In a second e-mail to those on the retailer’s customer mailing list, Johnson — who began e-mailing customers last month — wrote: “Let me start with a special thanks to those who responded to my first e-mail. Praise or criticism, nothing beats honest feedback. It’s what makes us better.”

He told parents that the 1.6 million free haircuts to kids last month were so popular the company will give away haircuts to kids from kindergarten to sixth grade every Sunday beginning in November.

This story first appeared in the September 11, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

He also said the “new jcpenney” is starting to emerge, with now six shop-in-shop concepts launched. He noted that the retailer just launched its own private label apparel line under the “jcp” name, and that rounding up to the nearest dollar at checkout contributed to more than $3 million that will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H as part of the JCP Cares program.