retail news in context, analysis with attitude

JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson told analysts on Friday that despite dismal quarterly numbers reported by the chain, "I’m completely convinced that our transformation is on track. It is very clear that withdrawing from our promotional model to a more everyday model has been harder than we anticipated. But it doesn’t change our conviction that the promotional model had run its course and that we have a far better path forward.”

Johnson, MarketWatch reports, is in the process of eliminating the promotion, coupon and constant sale-driven culture of the chain into more of an EDLP model, and "he outlined his plan to make the retailer a 'mall within a mall' — a specialty department store outfitted with such in-store shops as Levi’s, Liz Claiborne, and Martha Stewart and a central 'town square' area where, say, kids could have their pictures taken with Santa during the holiday season."

Despite the short-term numbers, some analysts seem to be buying in.

“J.C. Penney was well on its way to become a zombie retailer,” Newedge retail strategist Bill Dreher tells MarketWatch. “He’s taking some proactive and meaningful steps on how to evolve into a more active-traffic retailer. It’s a huge undertaking which has had, and will continue to have, some challenges. But it looks like with time, it really could begin to work.”
KC's View:
I'm not always a big fan of Wall Street-oriented retail analysts, but I have to admit I love that "zombie retailer" line.