It looks like Sears and JC Penny are having some serious issues with meeting their bottom lines, which is likely a sign that the apparel retailers might not be around much longer. While I do find this to be a bit of a shame (I used to get all my clothes from JC Penny when I was a teen), the fact of the matter is that neither company just has what it takes to compete with low-priced online boutiques or luxury fashion retailers.
We have just gone through a very difficult retail season. Christmas sales results have been pretty good for many retailers but there are exceptions including JCPenney, Sears, Target, Kohl’s, and domestic Gap. Now we wait for earnings to be tabulated.
In mid-February the major retailers will begin publishing their 4Q12 earnings; some will be very disappointing. Companies like Kohl’s have already lowered investor’s expectations by reducing their guidance for fiscal 2012 as well as 2013. Similarly Sears Holding has indicated that the fourth quarter sales were disappointing with sales dropping —- and earnings are also likely to be below last year. Read More