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.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)