Former CEO Ron Johnson nearly drove J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) into the ground and Myron Ullman has been brought back in to save the day, but that's old news. Today's investors need to set their sights on whether or not Penneys will successfully corral their previously loyal customers, and do so without excessive discounting that would only further erode margins. The recent past has taught us that retail consumers can be very fickle, and the mass exodus of shoppers that occurred in the not too distant past reveals an important truth about the company: a lack of competitive advantage to set itself apart from peers.

Will Penneys be able to woo their shoppers back while strengthening the bottom line? Or will fierce competition from Macy's (NYSE:M) rain on their parade? Get answers to these questions as Motley Fool analysts Sean O'Reilly and Mike Finarelli discuss the company's earnings and more.

Michael Finarelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. Sean O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.