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A Profitable Holiday for Retailers, Then What?

Thursday, 10 Dec 2009 | 12:55 PM ET

With tight controls on inventory and expenses, retailers are likely to have a profitable holiday season, said Allen Questrom, the former chairman and CEO of JC Penney.

New iPod Nano
Source: apple.com
New iPod Nano

But the key question is: what happens next?

"There's no way long-term a business can be successful if it's not growing and that's going to be a challenge for retailers to come up with new products people don't have in their closet," Questrom said in an interview on CNBC. (Watch video for Questrom's full comments.)

According to Questrom, the consumer is still under pressure, but can be tempted to purchase items that are different or have "new styling."

He cited Apple as an example of a company that has been able to be successful in this current climate.

Holiday Retail Outlook
Retail legend Allen Questrom, former CEO of J. C. Penney, Federated, Barney's and Neiman Marcus, shares his holiday retail outlook.

Still, Questrom expects high-end retailer to be under pressure for some time as upscale customers are expected to face higher taxes and lower levels of descretionary income.

In addition to his past positions at JC Penney

and other retailers, Questrom currently sits on the board of Wal-Mart Stores .

More from Consumer Nation:

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

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