Breaking news from CNBC's Becky Quick: Allen Questrom Would Consider Chairmanship Under Right Conditions
WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, AUGUST 8TH
WHERE: CNBC'S "FAST MONEY HALFTIME REPORT"
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Becky Quick. All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SCOTT WAPNER: BECKY,UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE MORE REGARDING ALLEN QUESTROM?
BECKY QUICK: YEAH I ACTUALLY JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH HIM, SCOTT. AND I HAVE TO APOLOGIZE, I HAVEN'T HEARD EVERYTHING THAT YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT ON THE SHOW BECAUSE I WAS TALKING TO HIM ON THE PHONE, BUT I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU HIS PERSPECTIVE ON THIS AND HOW HE SEES IT. HE SAYS THAT HE WAS APPROACHED BACK IN LATE APRIL OR EARLY MAY – FIRST APPROACHED ABOUT POTENTIALLY COMING BACK TO J.C. PENNEY AS THE CHAIRMAN. HE SAID HE TOLD THEM AT THE TIME THAT UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS,HE WOULD CONSIDER IT. HE SAYS IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE RIGHT CONDITIONS AND THE RIGHT PEOPLE. HE SAID HE WOULD NOT DO THIS IF THIS WAS A HOSTILE SITUATION. HE ALSO POINTED OUT THAT HE SAID HE TOLD THEM AT THE TIME HE DID THINK MIKE ULLMAN WOULD BE A GREAT PERSON FOR COMING BACK IN AS AN INTERIM CEO. THAT HE WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL IN GETTING THE FINANCING RIGHT. HE ALSO SAID THAT HE HEARD BACK AGAIN – I GUESS FROM ACKMAN – THIS WEEK ASKING HIM ONE MORE TIME IF HE WOULD BE INTERESTED AND HE SAID HE REITERATED THE SAME CONDITIONS. HE SAID HE WOULD COMEBACK UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS, HE WOULD CERTAINLY CONSIDER IT – CONSIDER GOING BACK. THE ONE THING HE DID POINT OUT WAS THAT HE WONDERED WHERE THE COMPANY WAS IN TERMS OF A SEARCH FOR A NEW CEO – FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO BE COMING IN FOR THIS. BECAUSE HE SAID THAT THAT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. HE POINTED OUT THAT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE A SITUATION WHERE THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN AND HE AND WHOEVER THE NEW CEO WOULD BE WOULD HAVE TO BE RIGHT FOR THE COMPANY. IT WOULD HAVE TO BE POSITIVE CHEMISTRY. AND AGAIN SAYS THAT HE WOULD DO THIS – WOULD CONSIDER COMING BACK UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS. THAT WAS THE LAST WORD HE SAID ON IT. SCOTT, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE CONCERNS IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY AND SOME OF THE BLOW UPS WE HAVE HEARD ABOUT OVER THE LAST WEEK OR SO. A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THE CONSUMER IS FEELING RIGHT NOW. ALLEN QUESTROM OBVIOUSLY IS A VETERAN RETAIL INSIDER. HE KNOWS THIS BUSINESS INSIDE AND OUT. HE IS SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS FASHION, KNOWS THE CONSUMER, KNOWS HOW THINGS ARE GOING AND HE SAYS YES. HE THINKS IT IS A WEAK ENVIRONMENT. HE SAYS YOU MIGHT BE SEEING SOMETHING ELSE. A LOT OF THE COMPANIES WE'VE HEARD TO THIS POINT HAVE BEEN THE TEEN RETAILERS AND EVEN SOME OF THE DISCOUNT RETAILERS THAT HAVE HAD TROUBLE THAT HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AS IT STANDS OUT THERE. HIS CONCERN IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE HIGH END, THE LUXURY END.PARTICULARLY AFTER THE TAX INCREASES THAT KICKED IN. HE GETS THE SENSE THAT CONSUMERS HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT INFECTED BY THIS. HE POINTS OUT IF YOU LOOK AT NEIMAN MARCUS AND SAKS AND SOME OF THE NUMBERS THAT HAVE COME IN – WHILE THEY HAVE NOT FALLEN APART, THEY HAVE HAD A TOUGHER TIME, AGAIN, BECAUSE OF THOSE TAX INCREASES. SO THAT IS HIS TAKE ON WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY OVERALL, AND AGAIN, HE SAYS THAT ALL OF THESE SITUATIONS – BEING ASKED TO COME BACK AS THE CHAIRMAN OF J.C. PENNEY – HE SAID HE WOULD CERTAINLY CONSIDER UNDER THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES.
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