J.C. Penney to eliminate some brands

After two years of declining sales, the Plano, Texas-based department store chain is eliminating or trimming some high-profile brands introduced by former CEO Ron Johnson.

CEO Mike Ullman told Reuters this week that it was editing down items and brands that have resonated well with its customer base, including its own jcp menswear, Joe Fresh clothes and some Martha Stewart-designed home furnishings.

He said Penney plans to use the freed-up prime floor space for its more-profitable exclusive private-label brands. The retailer has already brought back its billion-dollar St. John's Bay apparel line as well as JCP Home and Cooks, and it plans to reintroduce its Ambrielle lingerie in February.

Retail analysts seem pleased with the strategies Ulman is taken to reverse the failed experiments of his predecessor which cost the chain $4 billion in sales in 2012 and hurt gross profit margins.

Ulman said the retailer does not have six or seven years to fix its problems, so it will continue expand offerings in those brands that sell well like Liz Claiborne and the J.Ferrar line of men’s suits, cut those brands that don’t.

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