This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Penney CEO's Challenge: Is It Even Fixable?

Instead, Penney's loyal shoppers went in search of deals elsewhere, and the chain didn't attract the younger and more affluent shoppers that Johnson coveted. Now the 1,100-store chain is burning through cash. In the past year, the company lost nearly a billion dollars and saw its revenue tumble by nearly $4.3 billion to $12.98 billion. Customer traffic dropped 13 percent. Steep sales declines have continued, say analysts, even though Johnson added back some sales events and coupons early this year.

Some speculate that Ullman may ditch the everyday price strategy and instead ramp up the return to discounting and coupons to get shoppers back in the stores. But that will still be an expensive move. Michael Binetti, an analyst at UBS Investment Research, and others believe that Ullman also will temporarily suspend the rollout of the mini-shops, which started late last year and feature such brands as Joe Fresh and Levi's.

When the overhaul of its home area is completed next month, the company will have carved up 30 percent of its store space into mini-boutiques. But after that, Ullman is expected to pull back the pace of the rollout as Penney tries to conserve cash. That means that some suppliers who expected to have mini-shops could be left in the lurch.

Ullman also will have to find ways to boost employee morale amid severe cuts that have slashed the work force by nearly 30 percent. As of February, Penney employed 116,000 full- and part-time workers, down from 159,000 a year ago.

Whatever Ullman ends up doing, analysts expect him to be thoughtful and deliberate in his moves. That's a big difference from Johnson, who was criticized for not testing his strategies in a few stores, particularly the pricing plan.

In a statement released by Penney on Monday, Ullman said he plans to immediately "engage with the company's customers, team members, vendors and shareholders, to understand their needs, view and insights" and then work with the management team and the board to develop a game plan.

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs