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