The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: J. C. Penney, Best Buy, Wal-Mart Stores, and Microsoft

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: J. C. Penney, Best Buy, Wal-Mart Stores,
                  and Microsoft

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 17, 2013

CHICAGO, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include J. C. Penney Company Inc.
(NYSE:JCP-Free Report), Best Buy Company Inc. (NYSE:BBY-Free Report), Wal-Mart
Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT-Free Report), Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report)
and Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Is Store-Within-a-Store the New Retail Mantra?

Store-within-a-store has been making headlines of late, though the concept is
nothing new to retailers. Owing to the shift in consumers' buying behavior,
retailers find this approach more viable and profitable to reach the target
audience. The strategy seems compelling for many retailers and is often
considered as a game changer, as it facilitates displaying different brands
under one roof and ensuring a rise in footfall.

Simply put, and as the term denotes, the retailers offer space to product
makers inside their own stores in return of rental fees. Product manufacturers
in turn appoint staffs by themselves to manage the counter, thus lowering
overhead expenses for retailers. Manufacturers are also in constant fight to
avail the best space and offer efficient in-store customer service. The
concept works for both the parties - while retailers are saved from managing
inventories of these manufacturers, the product makers do not have to set up
their own stores.

J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP-Free Report) is one such retailer which
has been focusing on this business strategy for quite some time. We believe
this might be a clever move for the company to reinvigorate growth. The
company already showcases shops-in-shop from brands such as MNG Mango, Liz
Claiborne and Sephora, and more remain in the pipeline.

J. C. Penney added 681 Joe Fresh apparel shops within its stores in the latest
concluded quarter and plans to add newly designed home departments during the
second quarter of fiscal 2013. J. C. Penney also has plans to add 60 more
Sephora stores in this fiscal.

The recent one to join the league is consumer electronic retailer Best Buy
Company Inc. (NYSE:BBY-Free Report), which has been facing stiff competition
from industry bellwethers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT-Free Report)
and Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report) to increase its footfall, sales
and profitability.

Best Buy is leaving no stone unturned to woo consumers and attain incremental
revenue, and it is well evident from its strategic initiative of opening over
1,400 "Samsung Experience Shops" within its stores, announced in April. These
shops offer Samsung's smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and other
accessories. The model seems to be working.

Taking the initiatives further, Best Buy recently unveiled its partnership
with Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) to roll out "Windows
Store" across its 500 outlets in the U.S. with an additional 100 in Canada.
The stores will feature Windows-based PCs, tablets, Windows Phone, Xbox and
various accessories. Unlike Apple stores, which are approximately 200 square
feet, these "Windows Store" will essentially cover 1,500 to 2,200 square feet
and will employ 1,200 sales associates.

Microsoft has been grappling with plummeting sales of Windows 8 operating
system and believes that the platform provided by Best Buy would help them
reverse their fortunes. For Best Buy, the deal adds more compelling products
to its portfolio to better compete against the discount giants and online

Now, it remains to be seen whether the store-within-a store concept can put
these companies back on the growth trajectory and lead as an example for
others to follow.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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