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Why JC Penney’s Landlord Isn’t Worried

Tuesday, 9 Apr 2013 | 5:58 PM ET
Mike Ullman Rejoins JC Penney As CEO
Tuesday, 9 Apr 2013 | 5:15 PM ET
Ron Johnson's predecessor now becomes his successor, reports CNBC's Courtney Reagan; and the "Fast Money" traders discuss how to play the stock now.

One of JC Penney's landlords isn't overly concerned that the struggling retailer would have trouble paying its rent, DDR CEO Daniel Hurwitz said Tuesday.

"Not really concerned about their ability to pay their rent because they don't pay very much rent," he said. "I am very concerned about their ability to pay vendors for goods, which are absolutely critical for future growth."

JC Penney parted ways with CEO Ron Johnson on Monday after four quarters of losses, sending the stock sharply lower.

Twelve of the retailer's approximately 1,100 store are located on property owned by DDR.

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Hurwitz said that selecting former JCP head Mike Ullman as interim CEO would provide "some comfort" to vendors.

"I think one of the other things he can say is that I know who our customer base is, and I'm not going to ignore them," he added. "I think he can say to his coworkers that I believe in you, and I'm not going to abandon you."

Hurwitz said that Ullman's track record with JC Penney was solid.

"Sure, they've lost $4½ billion, and it's going to take a lot of work to get back to where it was, but he's been there before, and he knows how to fix it," he said.

Hurwitz said that JCP had options available.

(Read More: 'No White Knight' for JCP: Retail Analyst)

"It's not easy to get out of leases. It's not easy to sell buildings," he said. "But they can reduce their selling square footage, reduce their inventory, increase their sales per square foot. They can increase their profit per square foot and preferably their margins per square foot because all retailers pay their rent with margins more than comp store sales.

"I think in most cases, most retail landlords would be able to re-lease space at better rates than Penney's paying because, like I said, Penney pays very, very little," he said. "But I don't see that happening in the immediate future."

Hurwitz added that JC Penney's CEO would have to figure out how to work with vendors, coworkers and customers. "And then see what you want to do with the real estate and what makes most sense."

Trader disclosure: On April 9, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Brian Kelly is long TREASURIES; Brian Kelly is long GOLD; Brian Kelly is long SILVER; Brian Kelly is short SPX; Brian Kelly is short DAX; Brian Kelly is short CAC40; Brian Kelly is short COPPER; Steve Grasso is long AAPL; Steve Grasso is long ACI; Steve Grasso is long ASTM; Steve Grasso is long BA; Steve Grasso is long BAC; Steve Grasso is long GDX; Steve Grasso is long HPQ; Steve Grasso is long LF; Steve Grasso is long LNG; Steve Grasso is long MHY; Steve Grasso is long PXD; Steve Grasso is long NVIV; Steve Grasso is long PFE; Steve Grasso is long S; Steve Grasso is funds long AAPL; Steve Grasso is funds long MSFT; Steve Grasso is funds long T; Steve Grasso is funds long HPQ; Steve Grasso is funds long ZNGA; Steve Grasso is funds long PG; Steve Grasso is funds long UAL; Dan Nathan is long GS MAY 145/135 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is short XHB MAY 28/30 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long FB APR 26 WEEKLY PUTS; Dan Nathan is long MSFT APR 28 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long AMZN APR 240/200/160 PUT FLY; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU.

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