NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The retail sector saw no shortage of drama in 2013 as battles for corporate control and stunning sales drops grabbed headlines. So what might we expect in 2014?
Quite a bit, judging from what took place in 2013. Some highlights of the year:
J.C. Penney (JCP) battled to return to profitability after firing former Apple executive turned department store CEO Ron Johnson for alienating customers only to be replaced by his predecessor, Myron 'Mike' Ullman. The department chain's turnaround took too too long for Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital, who tried to get the retailer to speed things up. J.C. Penney fought back and Ackman finally ceded his board seat and stake in the retailer in August. All of that finger-pointing did little to remake the once-mighty department store chair. Analysts are forecasting a loss of $5.97 a share this year despite same-store sales that turned positive.
Men's Wearhouse (MW) and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) can't seem to agree on merger terms that work for both men's suits and sportswear retailers. Jos. A. Bank announced the latest of rejections earlier this week, the latest parry in lots of posturing. Men's Wearhouse: your move now.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), founder and CEO Mike Jeffries has once again found himself in hot water after the resurfacing of impolite comments about why the company was unwilling to carry larger women sizes. The still tough economy along with a growing sense of consumers' unwillingness to accept Jeffries' insensitive remarks has crimped sales. It's now looking to expand the size offerings of its clothes after posting dismal results last quarter. Still even with investor prodding to replace Jeffries, the company renewed his contract. So much for independent boards.
Lululemon Athletica's (LULU) had a surprise fall from grace this year after the yoga apparel maker had a major yoga pant recall leading to the resignation of its CEO Christine Day. Lululemon's founder Chip Wilson just recently stepped aside as chairman after he too made insensitive comments about how the expensive pants were not made for larger size women. The company recently announced former TOMS Shoes President Laurent Potdevin was hired to be its new chief executive.
With Dec. 31, quickly approaching, it's time to clear out 2013 and to make way for 2014. TheStreet asked several retail experts for their 2014 predictions. Here are five: