Dallas, There is increasing speculation that J.C. Penney could be the buyer of Sakâ€™s Carson Pirie Scott department store chain, according to a report in todayâ€™s Chicago Sun-Times. Saks is selling Carsonâ€™s, along with Bergnerâ€™s, Boston Store, Herbergerâ€™s and Younkers, in order to focus on its more lucrative Saks Fifth Avenue chain. Another possible buyer for Carsonâ€™s is Belk, Inc., which bought Saksâ€™ Proffittâ€™s and McRaeâ€™s stores for $622 million, according to the report. The paper also speculated that Penney might want to purchase Carsonâ€™s to defend itself against a hostile takeover by private equity firms.
Despite the lagging mid-priced sector, J.C. Penneyâ€™s earnings more than tripled for the first quarter, boosted by sharply higher Internet sales and increased comp-store sales.