FINANCE

Aggressive markdowns leave J.C. Penney Q2 profit flat

BY Staff Writer

Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Co. reported Friday that net income for the quarter ended July 30 was flat at $14 million, citing aggressive markdowns for a lackluster performance that fell below Wall Street expectations.

Revenue dipped to $3.91 billion from $3.94 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 1.5%.

According to J.C. Penney, its focus on the middle-to-lower-income shoppers creates a challenge, as those consumers face economic uncertainty heading into the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.

"The challenging economy continues to impact the moderate consumer," said Myron E. Ullman III, chairman and CEO in a statement. “"Nevertheless, we have made significant strides in implementing our merchandising growth initiatives.”

J.C. Penney opened 22 Sephora inside J.C. Penney boutiques in the quarter, bringing the concept total to 276.

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ECRM founder, CEO Charlie Bowlus passes away

BY CSA STAFF

SARASOTA, Fla. — Charlie Bowlus, CEO and founder of ECRM has died unexpectedly from complications following emergency surgery three weeks ago.

“My father would not want us to mourn his death,“ noted ECRM president Mitchell Bowlus in an Aug. 11 letter to ECRM employees. “Rather, he would want us to celebrate his tremendous life and further his passion and vision for improving the way companies do business. His courage, determination, humility and his love of life have undoubtedly touched all of our lives. We are all blessed to work for a company that has been shaped by the will, leadership and vision of my father. These qualities epitomize what we will continue to stand for in the future.”

Charlie Bowlus, a long-time industry vet, began his retail career during college at Ohio State University, when he worked for a small drug chain, owned by a friend’s father. From there, Bowlus went on to become a buyer and wholesaler for various chains, including Target, Cook-United and Boston Distributors Inc.

But Bowlus truly left his mark on the industry in 1994, when he revolutionized retail conferences by leveraging technology and a “speed-dating,” approach in developing the Efficient Program Planning Session style meetings with which ECRM has become synonymous. Since then, the company has held more than 800 category-specific meetings on four different continents. This year, there were more than 90 different events on the ECRM meeting calendar.

“Over time, we will all be relieved of the anguish of our bereavement and left only with a cherished memory of my loving father and solemn pride to have known such a great man,” Mitchell Bowlus noted.

As of late Thursday details for a memorial service to honor Bowlus were still being finalized.

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Dillard’s boasts EPS, comps growth in Q2

BY CSA STAFF

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Shortly after Nordstrom reported a 20% quarterly earnings gain, fellow luxury retailer Dillard’s posted net income of $17.6 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with $6.8 million, or 10 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Same-store sales for the second quarter were up 6%. Net sales for the quarter were $1.44 billion compared with $1.4 billion last year.

Dillard’s CEO, William Dillard, II, stated, “Our strong second quarter operating results solidified a very successful first half of 2011, essentially doubling our earnings per share to $1.66 from 80 cents. While we are monitoring the macro-economic environment closely, we will continue to work to create clear distinction at Dillard’s with enhanced service levels to match our improving merchandise mix.”

At July 30, 2011, the company operated 291 Dillard’s locations and 14 clearance centers spanning 29 states and an Internet store at www.dillards.com. Total square footage at July 30, 2011 was 53 million.

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