Ron Johnson, chief executive officer, began putting his mark on the chain this year, eliminating coupons, switching up the pricing regimen and adding branded specialty shops.
“The jury remains out on whether J.C. Penney has done some irrevocable damage or whether it can begin to turn around faltering sales and sustainably improve the profitability of its business beginning the first quarter of 2013,” Fitch said.
The rating agency said sales could continue to fall by a percentage in the low-single digits next year.
Ackman, who played a key role in bringing in Johnson to lead the company, remains an ardent supporter of the ceo. That’s an important vote of confidence since Ackman controls 25.2 percent of the company’s stock.
“Ron has gone to launch the fastest growing specialty retailer of all time, which is what we call ‘New JCP,’” Ackman said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Since Aug. 1, the space devoted to the new branded shops in Penney’s has grown from zero to 7 million square feet, said Ackman. Those shops draw sales of $270 a square foot, or twice the average for the rest of the store. The idea is to have the store become a collection of 100 such shops after three more years. “The problem that people have is it’s very hard for people to look at this company on a consolidated basis,” Ackman said. “On a consolidated basis, it looks terrible.”
The investor said Johnson was “winding down the old JCP and using the cash flow from the old JCP to fund the growth of this [new] business.”
Penney’s as a chain and an investment for Ackman is still very much a work in progress. The investor bought into the retailer at slightly over $25 a share in 2010. The stock closed down 3.2 percent to $17.40 Tuesday. The stock has lost 26.1 percent of its value over the past week.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)