JC Penney at Piper Jaffray Conference Notes

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Marvin Ellison – CEO

The consumer is in pretty positive shape

” what we’ve determined pretty consistently is that the consumer is in a really positive shape from a financial standpoint. The consumer tells us that their wages are up, their job stability is better than it’s been in many years. They have price appreciation in their home. They have more money in their savings accounts than they have had quite a while and energy prices although up are still down relative to last year. So overall, the consumer is telling us, they feel really good about their personal economic position.”

Consumers are also telling us that they are pulling back on spending because of some of the uncertainty that may exist

“What they’re telling us is that they are pulling back a little bit on apparel related spend because they are spending more on experiences and entertainment but also because of some of the uncertainty that may exist in the broader macro that they can’t predict.”

The JC Penney of 2010 will not win in 2020

“one thing we’re pretty sure of the J.C. Penney of 2010 will not win in 2020. That business model can’t work for the future. There are elements of that business model we are very confident that can work and specifically that element is private brands. It’s a huge competitive advantage that we have as a Company?”

Online is only a modern view of what catalogue was 50 years ago

” we had to create a true omni-channel experience. I know the omni-channel term is overly used in retail but for me it’s very appropriate because JCPenney was once a dominant catalogue retailer. So, you could argue that JCPenney was one of the first omni-channel retailers between brick-and-mortar and catalogue. And online is only a very sophisticated modern view of what the catalogue was 50 years ago. And that was totally lost in the leadership transition and change in philosophy.”