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.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
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In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye