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What's Next For JC Penney And Its Returning CEO, Replacing The One Just Ousted?


Struggling retail giant JC Penney could face bankruptcy if things don’t improve, according to SMU Marketing Professor Ed Fox. 

With Monday’s ouster of Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson, Fox says the stores will still be around even if that happens. But the Johnson vision that included store-wide low prices and no coupons will go. Fox says his idea of a store within a store,  with main street and people lingering and browsing and eating and entertaining themselves in the store, I think it’s not credible to say that’s where they’re headed. They’re changing their strategic direction. To what is the larger question?”

Fox says returning CEO Mike Ullman will need time to assess the damage, then chart a new path.

He says JC Penney-brand products, like home design goods, are still valued.  And with effective leadership, he believes Penney can rejuvenate itself.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.