The most ambitious brand launch in J. C. Penney's history could revitalize the department store's stock. But it could also sap the company...
The most ambitious brand launch in J.C. Penney’s history could revitalize the department store’s stock.
But it could also sap the company of cash it will need to meet its growth plans.
For now, analysts seem to be giving the chain the benefit of the doubt. The new brand, American Living, was developed with J.C. Penney partner Polo Ralph Lauren and covers 40 categories of products, many marked with a logo of an eagle.
Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig says J.C. Penney will need “time and marketing investments to create [cachet] for the logo.”
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Penney had planned to open 50 stores a through 2011. But a “precipitous change” in consumer sentiment led the company to scale back that plan by 10 stores in 2008 and 2009. Shares of J.C. Penney have fallen significantly over the past year, in line with other retailers knocked by fears of a consumer-led recession.