QUOTE AND NEWS
Motley Fool  May 17  Comment 
Sears and J.C. Penney have expanded their efforts in a category that has proved somewhat Amazon-resistant.
MarketWatch  May 16  Comment 
J.C. Penney was upgraded at Robert W. Baird & Co. on its plan to improve business by reaching its $1 billion EBITDA goal.
Benzinga  May 16  Comment 
Similar to other departmental stores, same-store sales at J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) significantly slowed in 1Q, with transactions and AUR both turning negative. UBS’ Michael Binetti maintains a Sell rating on the company, while...
Benzinga  May 16  Comment 
J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) reported a 63 percent increase in its 1Q EBITDA, driven by the largest quarterly SG&A cut since 4Q13. Morgan Stanley’s Kimberly C Greenberger maintained an Underweight rating for the company, while reducing the...
Benzinga  May 16  Comment 
Given weakness in the apparel category, J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) is turning towards the home category to solve its traffic woes. Citi’s Paul Lejuez said, however, that the strategy may not work. He maintained a Neutral for the company,...
TheStreet.com  May 16  Comment 
RATINGS CHANGES F5 Networks was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings. You can view the full analysis from the report here: FFIV. Globus Medical was downgraded to sell from neutral at Goldman Sachs. $21 price target. The company is facing...
Forbes  May 16  Comment 
The underlying reasons for Macy's recently reported striking lack of performance have been a long time in the making. Though Macys would likely never agree, much of their positive performance over the past several years may very well have come...




 

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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