Penney Lays Claim to the Middle of the Road
By George Anderson
While current retailing wisdom suggests that the only thing found in the middle of the road are painted lines and road kill, J.C. Penney seems to have found a place where it can successfully navigate between the extremes of discounters on one side and upscale merchants on the other.
The retailer reported a strong earnings increase for its fourth quarter “helped by strong sales of spring merchandise and its online business,” according to The Associated Press.
Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, said, Penney has been successful because, “Its merchandise mix is sharper, and they have been more focused on consumer experience.”
In a separate report, this from the Chicago Sun-Times, Penney was said to be a likely buyer for the Carson Pirie Scott department store chain. Saks Inc. has put the chain up for sale to concentrate on its upscale Saks Fifth Avenue banner.
Kurt Barnard, president of Retail Forecasting said Penney and Carson Pirie Scott were a good fit. “Carson’s stores are in good locations, and J.C. Penney is under good management these days,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: Should J.C. Penney be looking to acquire other businesses or would you prefer to see it follow a purely organic growth strategy?
What challenges and opportunities do you see for the company’s immediate future? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- J.C. Penney’s a retail bright spot – The Associated Press/Press-Telegram
- Penney may be next owner of Carson’s chain – Chicago Sun-Times