JC Penney made its first big splash on Wednesday in what will be a three-year effort to rebrand the 110-year-old department store chain with some distinctly 21st century initiatives.

Chief Executive Ron Johnson has said his ultimate goal is to make JC Penney America's favorite store. His initiatives include a new pricing structure, replacing cent figures with double zeros on all price tags and turning the store into a destination via a Town Square.

But makeovers can pay a hefty toll in the business world, and the past is strewn with good ideas gone sour. A change in direction does not always lead to success. Fortunately, some companies have the wherewithal to drop a bad idea soon enough to survive. Here are some corporate excursions gone horribly wrong.