If JCPenney doesn’t hit a home run during this year’s holiday shopping season, the company could be in big trouble, according to former Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon.
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Like many of America’s retailers, the rise of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, has shaken up the retail landscape, leaving traditional retailers like JCPenney with lackluster revenues and declining store traffic.
“They are sort of backed into a corner. They don’t have the opportunity to grow. They’ve got strategic issues and they don’t have the financial resources to invest in the transformation that Walmart and Target and some of the other companies do,” Simon told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday. “So I don’t see a lot of places for them to go right now.”
However, Simon sees a bright spot for the struggling retailer, which recently announced changes to leadership to fill major gaps in the company’s battered C-suite. In October, Jill Soltau was named as the new CEO of JCPenney, and Michael Fung was appointed interim chief financial officer.
“I like some of their recent moves,” Simon said. “I don’t know their new CEO, but they’ve recently brought Michael Fung in as an interim chief financial officer and Michael is a real pro.”
Even so, JCPenney’s third-quarter earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations, with the company reporting a decline in sales and weaker-than-expected revenue.
“They are trading just north of a buck, their market cap is $300 million or so – I think someone is going to gobble them up if they don’t have a good Christmas,” Simon added.
Apart from JCPenney and Sears, which recently filed for bankruptcy, Simon is also “keeping an eye” on Neiman Marcus.
“I think they survive Christmas,” he said. “But if they don’t have a good Christmas they’ll be pretty weak on the backside.”
JCPenney’s stock is trading around $1 per share.