FINANCE

Developers Diversified Realty and MasterCard Worldwide launch gift card in Puerto Rico

BY CSA STAFF

Beachwood, Ohio — Developers Diversified Realty Corp. announced a new gift-card partnership with MasterCard Worldwide in Puerto Rico.

The MasterCard program, called the Isla Plus Card, represents an extension of a significant, long-term partnership between the two companies in Puerto Rico. The Isla Plus Card is designed to promote even greater acceptance among merchants and consumers, and provide the flexibility consumers demand in gift-card programs.

"We are very pleased to partner with Developers Diversified to launch our new gift card," said Ricardo Perez, VP Latin America & Caribbean commerce development for MasterCard Worldwide. "Because the Isla Plus Card can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted, the recipient has significantly more options to redeem, making the card an ideal gift for family and friends in Puerto Rico, as well as those living in or traveling to the United States."

Developers Diversified is the largest retail landlord in Puerto Rico, owning and managing 15 shopping centers on the island. Collectively known in Puerto Rico as Centros Isla, these shopping centers total 5 million sq. ft., and together these centers are nearly 97% leased.

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FINANCE

J.C. Penney to close stores as part of restructuring; names Ackman to board

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas — J.C. Penney on Monday unveiled a restructuring plan, which includes close five department stores and one home store, because they are no longer profitable enough. The retailer named William Ackman to its board after the activist investor became its biggest shareholder

As part of the restructuring, J.C. Penney will wind down its catalog business by shutting 19 outlet stores in the course of 2011 and 2012. The retailer will streamline its call center operations and custom decorating business, closing its call center facilities in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Albuquerque, N.M. J.C. Penney will consolidate all activity supporting its department store and online customers into three existing facilities in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

"The actions we are announcing today are significant steps in an ongoing process to ensure we are best managing costs and allocating our resources effectively to the strategies that will allow us to improve margins and drive profitable sales over the long term," chief executive Myron Ullman said in a statement.

The stores to be shuttered are located in Morrow, Ga.; West Dundee, Ill.; Des Moines, Iowa; High Point, N.C.; and Culpeper, Va. The home store is in Duluth, Ga.

J.C. Penny is also streamlining its custom decorating business, and will close its custom decorating fabrication facility in Sacramento, Calif., leaving one remaining facility in Statesville, N.C., where it will increase its staffing to support customer demand. Additionally, the company will move from managing 525 individual, in-store custom decorating studios to supporting 300 studios in key markets.

J.C. Penney expects the changes will result in a positive impact to earnings in 2012, the first full year of implementation, of approximately $25 to $30 million. Additionally, there will be estimated one-time charges of approximately $30 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and approximately $20 million during 2011 to reflect the transition.

In other news, J.C Penney named William Ackman to its board after the activist investor became its biggest shareholder. Steve Roth will also become a director after his Vornado Realty Trust built a stake in the retailer. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management and Vornado together reported a 26% stake in J.C. Penney in early October.

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OPERATIONS

Coldwater Creek names president and chief merchandising officer

BY CSA STAFF

Sandpoint, Idaho — Coldwater Creek announced that Jill Brown Dean has been appointed president and chief merchandising officer, effective Feb. 14. She succeeds Georgia Shonk Simmons who previously announced her intention to retire.

Dean joins Coldwater Creek with over 25 years of retail and merchandising experience in the specialty retail sector. She most recently served as president of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands.

The company also announced that Jerome Jessup, currently executive VP creative director, has been promoted to president and chief creative officer.

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