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Are you a mover and shaker?

BY Katherine Boccaccio

If you are a shopping center owner or manager, I’m talking to you! It’s that time of year again – when Chain Store Age begins collecting data to publish our annual report on America’s top developers and fastest-growing acquirers and third-party managers.

Results of the survey, which is now in its 23rd year, are published in the April/May edition of Chain Store Age, with bonus distribution to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon show in Las Vegas in late May.

If you’ve already received your surveys via email and are working on them, ignore me. But, if you didn’t get a copy of the three individual surveys, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send them to you right away! Deadline for submission is Feb. 27, so don’t delay. Because this is your opportunity to be considered for one of the industry’s oldest, and most prestigious, rankings.


Click here for Past Blog Entries by Katherine Field Boccaccio

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Rona announces two executive hires

BY CSA STAFF

Rona, the largest chain of home improvement retailers and distributors in Canada, has appointed Dave Carr to the position of VP retail, Western Canada, and François Hardy to the position of VP dealer-owner network development.

After beginning as an employee of a TOTEM store lumberyard in 1992, Carr quickly climbed the ranks to become assistant manager, then store manager. After managing several stores in Alberta, Carr became a regional manager, then general manager, and finally VP of TOTEM in 2008, three years after Rona’s acquisition of the company.

Carr, along with the other regional VPs for retail, will report to Luc Rodier, who has been promoted to the position of EVP retail.

Hardy took office on Jan. 16 and reports directly to Robert Dutton, Rona’s president and CEO. He will assist in the development of Rona’s existing dealer-owner network and be responsible for recruiting new dealer-owners. His professional background has centered on strategic positions in retail business development, sales and marketing in both Canada and the United States. Until recently, he occupied the position of VP sales and marketing at Intertrade, a business he co-founded in 2003, which specializes in developing partnerships and processes for exchanging information between suppliers and retailers.

Rona operates a network of more than 950 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats, with more than C$6 billion in annual sales.

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Day two of JCP event details financial outlook

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — The second day of JCPenney’s launch event in New York City revealed the retailer’s long-term financial plans to generate profit and shareholder value while reinventing itself.

COO Mike Kramer outlined the company’s financial outlook, including an enhanced profit formula derived from the simplified business model unveiled the day before, based on a new three-tier pricing strategy, newly organized promotions and an overhaul of the merchandise assortment.

"The blueprint Ron (Johnson) and Michael (Francis) outlined yesterday dramatically simplifies our operations and significantly improves the company’s ability to flow margins through to the bottom line,” said Kramer. “As we transform the business model, our teams are committed to improving sales productivity in our stores, generating 40% or better gross margins, while lowering expenses to industry-leading levels.”

Kramer said the company is targeting $900 million in expense cuts to be completed over the first two years of its transformation, ultimately lowering expenses below 30% of sales in two years. Kramer said he expects to achieve an expense run rate of 27% by the end of the transformation in 2015. The savings will come primarily from stores, advertising and the operations in the company’s home office.

During his presentation, Kramer revealed plans to fund the transformation of J.C. Penney’s stores through cash from operations, beginning with $800 million in capital expenditures in fiscal year 2012.

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