Report: J.C. Penney Working With Turnaround Firm

By RetailFOXBusiness

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) reportedly began working with consulting firm AlixPartners about a month ago, as the troubled retailer aims to turn things around under returning Chief Executive Mike Ullman.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Penney turned to AlixPartners for help with cost savings management while Ron Johnson was still CEO.

The report added that executives at AlixPartners, a firm that specializes in corporate turnarounds, are focused on cash flow management and finding ways for Penney to save money. The firm is not pursuing a broad restructuring plan, according to the report, and cost-saving opportunities could include consolidating distribution centers.

AlixPartners declined to comment. J.C. Penney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, the Plano, Texas-based retailer announced the resignation of Johnson as CEO and said Ullman, who was at the helm before Johnson, would be his replacement. Last week, Penney said two other executives, the chief operating officer and chief talent officer, also left the company.

Johnson was himself charged with turning the company around, but his everyday low price strategy that eliminated sales at the retailer proved ineffective. Penney has since returned to offering sales and coupons.

Penney recently took $850 million from a credit line to help fund day-to-day operations amid continued renovations of its home departments. The company has also sought a roughly $500 million loan from Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and private equity firms to help bolster its cash position.

Shares of J.C. Penney were down 5 cents at $15.49 in late afternoon trading Tuesday.