This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
TheStreet Open House

J.C. Penney: In With the Old

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The JC Penney (JCP) saga continues, and the stock continues its descent further into the single digits.

Less than two years ago, at the pinnacle of the of the "love-fest" investors had with the notion that then-new CEO Ron Johnson was the answer, this was a $42 stock. Thirty four points later, representing a loss of more than 80%, the plot continues to thicken.

In August, Bill Ackman, who was at the center of the Ron Johnson movement, and had convinced many of my fellow value investing brethren that the company was a solid buy, finally gave up both his board seat, and his 18% stake. Those shares, sold by Citigroup to investors for $12.90, are down 40% in less than two months. Ouch. JCP Chart JCP data by YCharts

It's clear at this point that some believe that the company is in a death spiral, and that it will not be able to turn itself around. Others suggest that the 111 year old retailer should go private, allowing it to coalesce outside the constant scrutiny of the public markets. There's certainly no shortage of opinion, present company included, and the company is still able to grab headlines.

I believe the company's announcement yesterday gets to the crux of the issue. Returning (aka "old") CEO Mike Ullman has brought back the company's "old" logo; you know the "familiar" red logo which spells out "JCPenney". This will replace the newer version, which featured the initials "jcp" in the top right corner of a red, white and blue box. The company made the move after determining that company customers like the "old" logo better than the newer version. The "old" logo is already being used in television commercials, and will now make a comeback on the JC Penney credit card.

Come to think about it, I prefer the "old" logo, too; it is more familiar, and evokes "old" childhood memories of mall shopping. But that sure as heck won't get me back into the mall, or the local JC Penney store. The company tried "new", to a certain extent, with the multitude of changes made by the Ron Johnson regime, but it was still JC Penney, the store where your grandparents used to shop. Those changes didn't work, so the company is reverting back to the "old". But that's not the answer, either. If JC Penney wants to survive, the company may need to completely re-invent itself, and in my view, that includes a name and identity change, not the return to an old logo.

1 of 2

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
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

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
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
JCP $7.83 2.62%
AAPL $126.37 2.53%
FB $83.20 -0.13%
GOOG $552.03 0.67%
TSLA $190.57 3.01%


DOW 17,976.31 +263.65 1.49%
S&P 500 2,086.24 +25.22 1.22%
NASDAQ 4,947.4410 +56.2220 1.15%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs