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A.B.S. Declines Renewal Offer from JCP

Embattled retailer JC Penney’s (JCP) already depressing week just got worse. After a welter of rumors the company is poised to seek another $1 billion loan to finance turnaround efforts, Allen B. Schwartz, founder of A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, decided to pull his collection from JCP stores.

Schwartz explained, “I just don’t feel it’s the right opportunity. I’m refusing the renewal. I want to be more appreciated. I’ve done incredible work with them. I became uneasy and I’m not going to renew.”

A JCP spokesperson issued only this tersely worded statement: “We don’t comment on contract negotiations.”

Schwartz, however, was much more voluble when asked about the split that resulted from soured contract negotiations. He was sent a renewal offer following his attendance of a presentation given by JCP CEO Mike Ullman. “I listened carefully and I came back and they sent me my renewal. The terms were not acceptable. It wasn’t what it started out to be.”

According to Schwartz, JCP wanted him to shift his line from sportswear to dresses, a sudden redirection he found distressing. “I want to be consistent. Every season is something new. We’re staffing twenty-five people for a project like this and we just can’t flip a switch. I feel very relieved. The terms keep changing and you lose trust.”