1. A new name and new mission for J.C. Penney.
Look for J.C. Penney to be formally rechristened JCP and JCP.com , with the perception of becoming the hottest and possibly hippest mass merchant and retail turnaround since the last (albeit, short-lived) J.C. Penney turnaround in the mid-2000s. Its secret weapon this time: New CEO Ron Johnson, who recently joined the company from Apple and before that, Target), taking a few key Apple execs with him.
Never bet against a good merchant, especially one as motivated as Johnson, who obviously views this as the challenge of all retail challenges – one that will secure his legacy. If Johnson is successful, JCP could wind up taking share from Kohl’s, Target and Macy’s . But the biggest loser, bar none, will be Sears, which coincidentally is Prediction No. 2.
2. Sears will restructure.
Once the country’s largest retailer, Searscontinues to report quarter after quarter of disappointing results. Investors grow weary.
As the stock continues to drift lower, the company will try one last trick: By mid-year, it will announces a big restructuring that focuses on mass store closing. As one industry insider told me, “This is really a bunch of tired retail assets being staged for monetization into real money” for hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, who took control of Sears in 2004.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page