Penney Seeks Buyer for Eckard Drugstores

Plano, TX-based cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney Co. has hired investment bank CSFB to begin soliciting bids for its Eckerd drugstore subsidiary. While Penney has not definitively decided to sell the operation, which accounts for 45% of the Penney’s total business, it started the auction to gauge the interest of potential buyers. Penney reported wants to determine a course of action for the 2,700-store chain by the end of this year. The department store’s own turnaround efforts have been hampered in recent quarters by Eckerd’s lackluster results.