QUOTE AND NEWS
Market Intelligence Center  3 hrs ago  Comment 
J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP) presents a trading opportunity that offers a 21.53% return in just 351 days. A covered call on JC Penney at the $7.00 level expiring on Jan. '16 offers an assigned return rate of 21.53% or 22.39% annualized. This...
Motley Fool  Jan 24  Comment 
The rebounding retailer restores another page from its past but in a much slimmed down format.
Forbes  Jan 22  Comment 
J.C. Penney plans to bring back its "Big Book" catalog after five years, finding through analysis that online sales were partly driven by what the shoppers first saw in print.
Motley Fool  Jan 22  Comment 
J.C. Penney reported comparable-store sales growth during the holidays, delighting investors. But there's more to the story.
NPR  Jan 21  Comment 
The company finds that even if people don't order directly from them, the catalogs still serve a purpose.
Yahoo  Jan 20  Comment 
The retailer stopped mailing its 'Big Book' catalog in 2009 and phased out its distribution of 70 smaller catalogs a year later, the Journal said. J.C. Penney has been on the rebound this year after reversing an ill-fated attempt to move upmarket...
Wall Street Journal  Jan 19  Comment 
A half-decade after killing off its hefty catalog to focus on the Web, J.C. Penney is bringing it back, armed with data showing that many of its online sales came from shoppers inspired by what they saw in print.
DailyFinance  Jan 16  Comment 
Filed under: Company News, JC Penney, Macy's, Retail, Investing Tony Dejak/AP The economy may be showing signs of life, but that doesn't mean that all retailers are thriving. It may be a perfect climate of improving employment trends, with cheap...
Motley Fool  Jan 14  Comment 
J.C. Penney shares are hot, but it doesn't mean the chain is cool again.




 

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) is a leading department store retailer of apparel, accessories and home furnishings. They produce their own private brands in addition to selling products from other companies.

The company has faced changing consumer tastes in the past years--consumer traffic is being drawn to Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) at the expense of department stores such as J.C. Penney and Macy's Inc. (M). In addition, J.C. Penney relies heavily on private labels[1] Although private label products--in order to appeal to as many customers as possible--are not unique enough to compel fashion-conscious consumers to purchase them, they are still a viable option for customers who do not follow trends. JCP also faces lower profit margins in the due to rising commodity costs which will increase its clothing costs.

Business Overview

The company divides its merchandise into several categories which include: men's, women's and children's apparel, accessories and cosmetics; home furnishings; leisure and recreational equipment; jewelry and watches.[2]


Business Growth

Trends and Forces

Private Brands Not Unique Enough to Differentiate from Cheaper Alternatives

Private label brands are produced exclusively for a particular store. For example, J.C. Penney has a number of private label brands including Arizona Jeans Co. and Stafford.[3] Retailers such as Macy's and J.C. Penney find private labels very attractive because the pieces often have higher margins than branded merchandise from other companies. However, the economic crisis of 2008-2009 has made people more reluctant to spend. When consumers have less money to spend, they will be more inclined to spend it on something that excites them. Private label brands, in an effort to appeal to as many consumers as possible, are less likely to spur a person to buy them when disposable income is already scarce.[4] Also, the proliferation of discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's (some with their own exclusive brands) means that consumers can trade down to another store if they can no longer afford prices at J.C. Penney. Private label merchandise, by its nature, is not differentiated enough to keep fashion-conscious consumers purchasing them in lieu of lower-priced alternatives.

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Competition

J.C. Penney's main competition is mid-tier department stores such as Macy's Inc. (M) and Kohl's (KSS).

  • Macy's Inc. (M) has a higher price point than J.C. Penney and sells more exclusive brands. Although both companies produce private labels, they make less of a contribution to Macy's total sales than they do J.C. Penney. [5] [6]
  • Kohl's (KSS) is slightly smaller than J.C. Penney, both in terms of sales and locations Kohl's also operates at a slightly lower price point. Kohl's position as a discount retailer makes it more attractive for recession-stricken consumers who are looking to save money. Although it has fewer locations than J.C. Penney the fact the company sells its goods online means it is not at a large disadvantage to the larger retailer in terms of accessibility.[7]


News

  • On July 27, 2011 marketing chief Mike Boylson retired after 32 years working with JCP and 8 years serving in his former position. This will be first time Ron Johnson, who was appointed chief executive of JCP in November 2010, makes a senior-level appointment.[8]

References

  1. JC Penny 2009 10-k p.22
  2. JCP 2008 Annual Report pg. 2  
  3. JCP 2008 Annual Report pg. 2  
  4. Alexandria Sage. ANALYSIS - Private label eclipsed by brands in US retail slump.
  5. M 2009 Annual Report  
  6. JC Penny 2009 10-k p.22
  7. Discount Retailers Thriving in Recession.
  8. [1]
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