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  • Optimism For Kohl's Corp. [View article]
    Well reasoned assessment, the competitive caveat might be the share KSS gained at JCP expense in 2012/13 might reverse if the restocking and promo strategy at JCP starts reversing their declines.
    Jan 14, 2014. 12:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver Lining On The Horizon For J.C. Penney Company, But Will It Last? [View article]
    The silver lining will be created by two dynamics, the first a firming of market sentiment with sales increases (whether they are a "dead cat bounce" we will discover in November 2014) and second the cumulative benefit of recovering lost customers as they rebalance assortments, which should yield more increases past Nov 2014. Investors should remember that the day Mike Ullman came back most of the Q4 orders were placed and most of Q4 promotions (even RJ was trying to rekindle promotions by the time he left) were locked in. It will take time to cycle through the RJ product and pricing thesis and time for the core product and promotions to come back to full strength, but each month the balance will improve. As a long investor I am betting that things will be ticking over nicely by next Christmas and I find the current share price attractive in that context.
    Dec 24, 2013. 02:53 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kmart roll out lease-to-own program to all stores [View news story]
    In that case it will be cost effective
    Nov 9, 2013. 08:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kmart roll out lease-to-own program to all stores [View news story]
    An interesting decision based on 3 weeks of testing I wonder how they extrapolated success before they could determine a full cycle failure rate. I see no mention of the new Repo department they will need to manage this.
    Nov 8, 2013. 11:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Roth resigns from J.C. Penney board as Vornado moves to exit stake [View news story]
    Seems like lots of short memories, I believe the record profit year for JCP was 2008, I believe Mike Ullman was CEO, then there was something called the great recession which impacted all retailers worldwide and perhaps the retailers servicing the market most exposed to the collapse were hit disproportionately. It was not surprising that some people would think this dip could be an attractive way to profit and perhaps even convince them they knew how to be retailers, but as a corollary to Mr. Buffet's adage about ebbing tides I think a flooding tide can also embarrass people at water's edge. It is too simplistic to blame all the challenges at JCP as the result of the failed leadership of Johnson or Ullman, it's not that simple. To extrapolate that a brand that most if not all Americans know, situated in great locations and staffed by dedicated associates is destined to die because of current events is a disservice to customer, staff and shareholders.
    Sep 14, 2013. 04:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Estimating The J.C. Penney Risk Of Insolvency Using The Altman Z-Score [View article]
    Thank you for this evaluation how have you valued JCP real estate in this computation?
    May 28, 2013. 07:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Ron Johnson Wreck J.C. Penney? [View article]
    The failure in the past year was unplugging the core basics money machine. Shop in Shops properly executed in sufficient quantity with sufficient product (yet to happen) would have been accretive to the primary cash spinner core basic apparel, home, kids and footwear, as long as it was never at the expense of those businesses. The precipitous switch off of promo events must have created a collision on production lines around the world as cancelled merchandise started to fill warehouses and suppliers scrambled to sell off the goods. Factories needed to replace lost Penney business with other retailer orders. When the switch was turned on to promotions again all the best sellers were out of stock and will take many months to put back in sufficient quantity to generate positive comps. Some destination businesses were displaced in favor of untested shop in shop concepts and whether the new product will deliver incremental profit remains to be seen.
    May 10, 2013. 08:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) reports preliminary Q1 revenue of $2.635B, a mark which sits just short of the consensus estimate of analysts. A comparable store sales decline of 16.6% during the quarter is actually an improvement, but the retailer is starting to run up against soft comps. JCP +2.3% AH to $16.77 as the quarter for the retailer has some appearances of a bottoming out of the sales plunge with more home goods on tap for Q2. [View news story]
    First Quarter was Mr. Johnson's and with the exception of some tactical marketing and expense changes that Mr. Ullman can manage it will be true of 2nd and 3rd, as well. This calendar year may see some year on year recovery by Nov/Dec if the product pipeline gets filled properly for Christmas trade. What may surprise those that felt that everything done last year was wrong, is the upside from some of the scaled initiatives like Home and Joe Fresh.
    May 8, 2013. 01:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney (JCP -3.1%) posts a video on YouTube (video) in which the retailer mournfully apologizes for its mistakes and asks customers to come back. Of note, it appears the company is moving away from using the JCP monicker in the post-Ron Johnson era. [View news story]
    It is hard to understand how much meaningful change could have been managed in the short time since Mr. Johnson left. It will frustrate customers if you call them back and they find things the same. They will be less receptive (and more cynical), when real change has finally been implemented, and you call them yet again.
    May 2, 2013. 04:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are the stars finally aligning for J.C. Penney (JCP)? Emboldened with a decent result out of its legal squabble with Macy's and a report that it will show a year-over-year increase in sales for April, the retailer also has heavyweights George Soros and Bill Ackman entrenched as backers. What to watch: Though the sales numbers will improve as they run up against exceedingly soft comps, what CEO Mike Ullman decides to do with the company's real estate portfolio could be the key to solving the JCP riddle. JCP +7.2% premarket. [View news story]
    It will be expecting a great deal of Mr. Ullman that he unravel the fundamentals mess he has inherited in less than a year. Massive pipeline disruptions, data integrity contamination, consequent impact and disaffection of supply base, half done shop rollouts, management layoff impact and low staff morale and most importantly loss of customer goodwill all have to be fixed. The effect will have been cumulative and offsets may come from soft prior quarters but only if they have touched bottom. Changes to product need to be secured before they can confirm pricing and in turn confirm marketing. His first 60 days will be critical to salvage Christmas.
    Apr 26, 2013. 07:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Over For J.C. Penney [View article]
    It is not inevitable. Millions of customers, thousands of stores, this is a big ship. Everyone west of the Hudson and East of the Rockies is less blessed with choice, more frugal, less desperate about fashion, they are middle age and Boomers. This is the store for the silent majority. Breaking or shifting their shopping paradigms is not as easy or simple as recent management thought. Nor is it correct to say that this clientele has not progressed, which is a perspective that both Mr. Ullman and Mr. Mangone now need to reset. Product and attitude need to be stabilized first. Low and no return capex must be stopped. People did not stop shopping JCP this past year because they suddenly didn't like the ambience or the paint scheme, they couldn't find their product. This business will only perish if the board allows it to.
    Apr 18, 2013. 12:40 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is J.C. Penney The Worst Retailer In America? [View article]
    A central point of this well reasoned analysis is the disconnect between performance and continuous investment. Shareholders should take no comfort from the $850m draw down on the credit facility especially as it is earmarked for investment in a Home makeover, that were it to succeed would be incapable of reversing fortunes for the rest of the store. I think we can all see what the IRR has been on investments to date for the last 2 years, surely they were promising the board more. At what point does board support for reckless spending become criminal neglect of director responsibility?
    Apr 17, 2013. 03:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just Crazy Penney- So Much For Leadership, Vision And Change [View article]
    If your assessment #2 (Jabbertherapy) is the one, then expect slow motion on fixing the product and the operation fundamentals and preoccupation with organizing additional debt and financial consultants. The primary operation fundamental should be repairing store staff morale, it is one element common to sustainable turnarounds. I am sure employee contributors to Seeking Alpha will keep us informed if there is a serious attempt to regain staff trust.
    Apr 15, 2013. 07:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just Crazy Penney- So Much For Leadership, Vision And Change [View article]
    It is a tragedy if the livelihoods of 116,000 employees and the extended network of partners,which is at least as large, are sacrificed because of a lack of board will and imagination. This business should be considered too big to fail and can still be set on a proper course. Great brand name, great locations, solid (if disappointed) customer base in the sweet spot of the national age and income demographics is not a formula for dissolution. Time is very short before the weight of debt and the hangover from cash burn limit the range of solutions but if the patient is declared dead today it's board malpractice.
    Apr 10, 2013. 12:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) has resumed its strategy of initially putting high prices on its own-brand products and then discounting them after its attempts to implement an "everyday low price" policy turned into a disaster. JCP CEO Ron Johnson said in February that the department store would go back to using discounts as part of an attempt to turn the company around. [View news story]
    32% negative comp sales for Q4 '12 means vendor suffering. Vendors with manufacturing capacity who rely on JCP will try to replace lost production with other retail or wholesale clients, pushing JCP back or out of the production queue. Vendors that act as agents will have left a trail of cancellations everywhere. One of the key challenges for Mr. Johnson or a successor in the year ahead will be to repair or replace the lost capacity for supply. Reports of stock outs suggest that swinging the pendulum back to price off promotions may be only half a solution if you cant find the product to promote.
    Mar 27, 2013. 04:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment