Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd is taking pages from his old playbook in what will be a tough year ahead to revive J. C. Penney.
Ullman got at least some good news late last week when investor George Soros took a 7.9 percent stake in the retailer and Goldman Sachs reportedly lined up $1.75 billion in real estate and asset-backed financing to stabilize operations and sustain upgrades, potentially giving the Penney’s chief executive some breathing room.
The ceo has already set about reversing much of what was initiated by his predecessor, Ron Johnson, by:
• Slowing down the aggressive and costly shop rollout;
• Reviving private brands that were downsized;
• Cutting back on the tighter, contemporary fits in apparel in favor of a more classic, traditional balance for customers over 35;
• Bringing back big one-day sales and steeper markdowns and value deals while reducing everyday low pricing.
On hold are some major shop rollouts, with sources seeing delays on the Disney, Carters and Giggle shops for kids — deals that were unveiled months ago and might have to be renegotiated, potentially pushing the revamp of the kids’ floor to 2014, according to sources. The deals were contingent on creating shops which the now cash-strapped Penney’s might not want to proceed with. The retailer is expected to burn through more than $1 billion in the first quarter to catch up on vendor payments and pay for home shops that are being built, according to analysts’ estimates.
Last September, Penney’s said it would open Disney children’s boutiques in at least 520 stores in fall 2013, with products designed exclusively for the chain, unlike the mass-distributed licensed goods sold elsewhere. Costumes, plush toys, figurines, footwear, sleepwear, underwear, backpacks, lunch totes and apparel for boys, girls and babies were on the agenda. Carter’s and Giggle shops were revealed earlier. It’s not clear whether Penney’s could carry the goods without building the shops. Penney’s had no update on the situation. Previously, a few women’s shops were delayed to focus on the home floor, which is being reintroduced next month. Carter’s had no comment on Penney’s; Disney and Giggle officials couldn’t be reached.
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)