Penney Chief Forecasts More Bankruptcies

Myron Ullman, J.C. Penney’s CEO and chairman, sees a tough retail environment that could lead to more bankruptcies, according to this Dallas Morning News article. There could be 10 to 20 chains that could fall victim, especially regional outfits, he said speaking recently at a Lehman Brothers conference.

Ullman says the stimulus checks that many taxpayers have started receiving might help retailers but concedes that high gas prices might have already sucked up those funds. He also says he is “cautiously optimistic” about the holiday season for his company.

So far some of the casualties we’ve seen are Bombay Co., Sharper Image, and Movie Gallery. Chains such as Ann Taylor, Charming Shoppes and Talbots are closing numerous stores.

What do you see as the next chains or sectors to take a hit? And how do you think J.C. Penney in particular will fare during the downturn compared to its compeititors? So far, their sales results haven’t been spectacular.

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1 Response to “Penney Chief Forecasts More Bankruptcies”


  1. 1 Nancy H May 5, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Have we lost Rennovations Hardware yet? I thought I heard rumblings about them filing Chapt. 11. And if Rennovations went, is Pottery Barn, or Crate & Barrel next on the chopping block? These stores are too specialized, and too expensive. Small, specialty stores, whether furniture, techno-gadgets, or clothing, are going to have a hard time surviving. I think unless a store is offering great bargains on clothing or other basic needs, or selling something people cannot survive without (food, gasoline), they are going to have a hard time in this economy. I would expect that JC Penney would actually fare better than Nordstrom’s or Neiman Marcus. What JC Penney offers is nice, decent products at reasonable prices. Smart management and intelligent marketing should be able to keep Penneys alive and well.


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