J.C. Penney 1Q13 Earnings Call Notes

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This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“I should point out that we are in somewhat constrained, but what we can say about the future both because of limitations placed on us by the financing and bond tender on our way in my own instinct and not get ahead of ourselves”

“The good news is our fundamental business processes are still strong and our senior leadership is intact, with especially strong teams in merchandising, planning and allocation and our store leadership.”

“I can say with confidence we’re looking-forward not back developing new strategies and initiatives”

[analyst comment] “Thank you so much, and Mike, let me say, it’s fantastic to have you back.”

[analyst q] “do you think there’s anything structural which will prevent you from returning to historical sales productivity over time?”

“That’s a good question. I really don’t see any major structural barriers. I mean one of the great pleasures is walking back in and engaging with my colleagues and to find out that the core of our business processes are in place. Obviously the sales promotion approach had been changed dramatically. So we’re rebuilding it not exactly the same way. It’s very much more strongly driven in a partnership between marketing and how we paginate the offer in terms of promotion”

“there is really no reason in my opinion that over time and it may take time that we’ll regain the kind of cadence of attracting customers on the key occasions and making sure that she finds what she’s looking for at the price she can afford to pay.”

“I’ve read a lot of studies, I’ve read a lot of opinions about where people went. Clearly the customer in our segment isn’t necessarily loyal to one retailer, and I think they probably doubled down on one that they had not spent as much time when we were’nt the first choice, but clearly they just got channel benefited somewhat. We’re a value mall anchor, so other people in the mall probably benefited somewhat. The off-price marketplace probably did well. Clearly we gave up a lot of Internet business, which we’re happy to take back.

So we’re optimistic that we can earn it back, but it’s going to take time and they have to trust us that we’re not going to disappoint them. It’s our job to make it an exciting place to shop.”

“the core customer the traffic was down 17%. The business was down more than that. So we had traffic in the stores. She just didn’t buy as much because she didn’t find as much of what she wanted.”

“it’s a symphony, not a solo”