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Community college opens in Des Moines mall

BY Michael Fickes

Des Moines, Iowa — The Des Moines Area Community College opened its school year with a new campus: a 65,000-sq.-ft. former J.C. Penney store located on the main level of Southridge Mall.

The mall’s owner, Macerich sold the space to DMACC for $1. The school, which has three other campuses in the Des Moines metro area, has invested $13 million in design, construction, equipment, labs and classrooms. Major donations will be announced this fall.

Construction started on December 26, 2012. Crews have worked seven days a week and in some cases 24 hours a day to build a state-of-the-art educational center.

Formally called the DMACC Center for Career and Professional Development, the facility will offer four academic, career and educational services. They are:

  • Warren County Career Academy provides college credit and vocational training to high school students.
  • DMACC Business Resources provides customized employee training, consulting and training programs to Central Iowa businesses.
  • DMACC Continuing Education offers non-credit classes for personal and professional development.
  • DMACC Success Center offers credit classes to students pursuing liberal arts and sciences degrees, as well as other educational services including programs for Youth-at-Risk, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and General Education Development classes.

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DSW bounces back in Q2

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following a difficult start to the year, leading branded footwear and accessories retailer DSW has rebounded with an increase in sales that resulted in solid quarterly profit results for the second quarter ended Aug. 3.

The company reported sales of $562 million for the quarter, up 9.7% from $512 million for the prior-year period. Comparable-store sales increased 4.4% for the quarter on top of the prior-year quarter’s 4.2% increase.

"In a volatile sales environment, DSW was able to post a solid 20% earnings growth for the first half of the fiscal year," stated Mike MacDonald, president and CEO. "These results underscore the compelling nature of the DSW formula that is based on the brand cornerstones of assortment, value and convenience. DSW’s continued progress on its strategic initiatives supports our long term growth trajectory. With that in mind, we raised our full year guidance earlier this month to $3.60 to $3.80 per share."

For the quarter, the company reported net income of $33.7 million, compared to the prior-year quarter’s net income of $29.3 million.

DSW operates 377 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and operates an e-commerce site. DSW also supplies footwear to 351 leased locations in the United States under the Affiliated Business Group.

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Bill Ackman selling entire stake in J.C. Penney

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Hedge fund manager and activist investor William Ackman is selling his entire stake in J.C. Penney.

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, Penney’s single biggest shareholder with an approximate 18% stake, is offering its roughly 39.1 million shares for sale and used Citigroup as the bookrunner for the deal, Reuters reported. Penney filed a prospectus for the sale.

The move comes two weeks after Ackman resigned from Penney’s board after a fight with his fellow directors. Ackman wanted to replace interim CEO Myron Ullman sooner rather than later. He also called for the chairman to be replaced.

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