J.C. Penney’s Latest Leadership Hire Faces Major Challenges

Incoming J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison is qualified for the job, analysts say. But his leadership may not be enough to save the struggling department store chain as customers flock to stores with cheaper clothes and cooler cachet.

Ellison is a “credible hire,” but J.C. Penney’s structural problems will cause the company to miss the three-year growth targets revealed last week, said UBS retail analyst Michael Binetti. The retailer’s product is largely undifferentiated, bleeding customers to cheap clothes outlets like H&M, Forever 21 and T.J. Maxx, and its debt is high relative to peers, limiting its ability to boost advertising or renovate stores at the same pace as competitors, Binetti said Monday in a research note. Read the full International Business Times article by Meagan Clark