Are Days Numbered For J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)?


Dallas, Texas 12/17/2013 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is making a struggle out of its core retailing business. Gone are the days of happy 99 cent and long-term brands, things have gone so afar with JCP that there is much less to do for the company but wait for a restructuring or more, which will see a turn in its now disappointing growth curve.


Most industry insiders believe the way forward for the once-popular retailer is numbered. Many of them also feel there is scope for rebound, if there are quick-fixes and good management decisions in the offing.

While both of these are true, It would take a really long time to see the customers return to shop at JCP. Why and how did JCP reach such as nadir? Here is a quick recap…

JCP loses the way

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) once the darling of those looking for branded apparel, fashion and more had all of the factors going good for it – quality products, right product layout, near to perfect price tag – which made it  a bankable brand.

However, down the line as the industry evolved and there were far too many players in this line of business, JCP attempted to see a turn around, with some avantegarde experimentation.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has to pay for these experiments dearly for it.

Experiment that went all wrong

The period of 2007 to 2011, is seen as dark years for this retailer. The company adopted far too many changes.

It repositioned itself, as a niche floor-shop with store-in-store concept. While this was model that some other found successful, JCP found the transition too tough and wrong. For the niche that the company served thus far, found the apparel and the line of products different and no more the personal choice they would have expected JCP to offer them. Herein began the downfall… gone were Martha Stewart’s smart, comfortable lifestyle products, apparel and more!

Replaced with some tough generic products, which may well be available outside of JCP as well.  Additionally, the store-in-store concept failed to take-off customers were found to be moving from store to store to find the best fits and prices!

If these were operational difficulties, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) had other problems – financial problems.

Poor financial reporting

Soon, the SEC was interested in financial equity offerings, the liquidity numbers J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) had files, as well as the cash it had, along with its outstanding debt numbers.

SEC filings are important documents, largely for documentation purposes, therefore, the issue may be more with the heading or the section under which an expense or liability has been reported, more than a case of fraud or manipulation.

Additional, financial trouble was soon to come, in the form of one of its major investors –J.Kyle Bass downloading his equity stake in JCP.

Financial experts believe the way forward is hugely challenging for this retailer if there are no financial and structural reforms introduced on a fast pace!

Festive sales pick-up

Amidst all the turmoil, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has definitely seen some top sales as well during Thanksgiving sales. This trend was indicative for most of the top-line retailers as well! Macy’ and Kohl’s too saw some good sales figures!

JCP will have to forsake some of the lethargy of recent times and reinvent itself to see some better days!