Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: J. C. Penney, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Apple

  Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: J. C. Penney, Build-A-Bear Workshop and
                                    Apple

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses
the U.S. Retail, including J. C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Build-A-Bear
Workshop Inc. (NYSE:BBW) and Apple Inc (Nasdaq:AAPL).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO )

A synopsis of today's Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article
can be read at 

Link: 
http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/87304/retail-industry-stock-outlook-nov-2012

Uncertain and sluggish economic conditions continue to weigh upon the
retailers, indicating a grim outlook in terms of profitability and consequent
growth. However, continuous efforts on their part to offer innovative products
and value pricing have been paying off in an economy which is still in the
doldrums. It is still a tough time for retailers, who are using all their
resources in order to combat the sluggishness.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. retail and food services sales
declined 0.3% from the prior month sales to $411.6 billion in October.

The "Re" is Back in Retailing

'Transformation' is the new mantra for the retailers. Despite rapid
technological advancements, which are influencing consumer behavior, the
retail industry continues to reinvent, redesign and revitalize its physical
store formats to maintain their dominance.

Of late, retail giants including Best Buy Co. Inc., Target Corp., J. C. Penney
Co. Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (NYSE:BBW) are focused on
revisiting and re-evaluating conventionality and traditional business traits,
while also envisioning its brick-and-mortar store merchandise offerings.
Additionally, these companies continue to actively re-engineer and re-tool
various systems and processes.

Moreover, the retail groups are coming up with strategic initiatives to boost
operating efficiencies, drive growth and enhance shareholder's value. Most
retailers are focusing on abridging costs drastically to ensure competent
operating channels. We believe that such measures are necessary to gain
competitive advantage over peers. However, focus on improving the top line
should be prioritized to accelerate long-term growth.

The above mentioned traits are evident from the efforts of J. C. Penney, which
has left no stone unturned to bring the company back on the growth trajectory.
Management has taken up everything from implementation of new pricing
strategy, fresh logo and strategic merchandise and cost reduction initiatives,
while enhancing the shopping experience of customers.

Moreover, the leading specialty retailer of consumer electronic products --
Best Buy intends to get rid of stores that are not contributing to its growth,
while modifying others are also on the cards. The company plans to transform
its big-box format to a big profit center by redesigning its prototype stores
to mimic Apple Inc's (Nasdaq:AAPL) retail store format.

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