J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) took a nosedive during regular trading hours on Wednesday after a report in the New York Post which indicates that the company is once again having credit problems. The stock lost more than 10 percent of its value before recording a very small recovery of less than 2 percent in after-hours trades.
CIT denies service to J.C. Penney manufacturers
James Covert reports that CIT, which is the biggest commercial lender in the apparel industry in the U.S., has suddenly stopped providing support for deliveries from some small manufacturers to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) stores. The Post was unable to confirm why CIT stopped supporting those deliveries, but it could have something to do with the company’s financial situation.
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One source told the Post that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) executives met with CIT on Tuesday to provide them with a complete briefing on the retail chain’s financial position. The company has been struggling to pick itself up after a failed turnaround attempt by former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson.
When former CEO Mike Ullman retook the helm after Johnson’s ouster, he brought back the company’s former strategy of using coupons to bring in customers. However, one of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s suppliers apparently called summer sales at the retail chain “lackluster.”
Traffic is looking up for J.C. Penney’s website
Nonetheless, not everything at the company is bad. The Wall Street Journal’s Andria Cheng reports that J.C. Penney’s website is starting to see a lot of traffic on its website for shoppers looking for back to school sales. In fact, the company’s site now comes in second after Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) for back to school web traffic and has since July 13, according to data from Experian Marketing Services.
The research firm said J.C. Penney’s site didn’t even rank in the top 10 sites for back to school traffic last year.
Deutsche Bank examines J.C. Penney’s promotional approach
Deutsche Bank analysts Paul Trussell and Matt Siler took a closer look at the new couponing strategy being employed by J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and compared it with the promotional strategies of the company’s competitors. They said while the retail chain is now diligent with its couponing promotions, “it appears to be less aggressive than it was in 2011.”
The analysts note that the company’s message has been “toned down” and that it has issued one fewer coupon this year than it did in 2011. Instead of what they called an “aggressive ‘call to action’ marketing strategy” ahead of back to school time in 2011, they said this year’s advertisements have “a less assertive tone.”
How J.C. Penney stacks up to competitors
They compared J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) current back to school strategy with those of Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS), Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) and Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M). They said the other retailers have incrementally increased their promotions this year compared to last year. Kohl’s added an incremental 10 day event, while Macy’s added another day of its Wow! Pass. On the higher end, Nordstrom continued to promote its anniversary sale while Bloomingdale’s added a 16 hour b-quick event to its promotions.