retail news in context, analysis with attitude

From Reuters this morning:

"A U.S. judge on Monday approved a deal to rescue J.C. Penney Co Inc from bankruptcy proceedings precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, averting a liquidation that would have put the beleaguered department store chain out of business and jeopardized tens of thousands of jobs.

"The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the deal, which will allow the 118-year-old retailer to emerge from bankruptcy before the upcoming holiday season, the company said in a statement. The rescue deal is expected to save approximately 60,000 jobs.

"The transaction contains multiple parts. Lenders led by H/2 Capital Partners will forgive $1 billion in debt in exchange for 160 properties and six distribution centers. Mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners will acquire the company's slimmed-down retail operations for $1.75 billion in cash and debt.

KC's View:

Here's the deal.  If the new post-bankruptcy owners see JCP's assets as being building blocks in some sort of new model - real estate that can be repositioned to serve customers where appropriate, repurposed to be relevant to the growing e-commerce business where applicable, and converted to multi-use functionality where possible - then maybe this makes sense.

But if they think they can make the old JCP model relevant to a new customer base, I think they're smoking something.  

I think that the companies with a future are the ones that break the mold, not the ones that define the mold.