Director of retail studies at Columbia University Mark Cohen takes a cynical view of mall owners' deal to buy JCPenney out of bankruptcy. With malls already struggling with declining foot traffic, they can't afford to lose an anchor tenant like JCPenney. Cohen calls this holiday season JCPenney's "extended going out of business sale." Other analysts say that new ownership and a reduced debt load will buy the department store retailer some time, if nothing else.
JCPenney has survived to see its 119th holiday shopping season. How many more it has ahead of it is tough to say.