J. C. Penney wins latest court round; rehires company vet Ken Mangone
New York — A New York judge on Thursday rejected a request by Macy’s to block J.C. Penney from selling Martha Stewart goods under the "JCP Everyday" label for now, while it appeals a ruling allowing the sale. An order temporarily barring Martha Stewart from selling goods branded with her name at J.C. Penney’s is still in place.
Justice Richard Andrias of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Manhattan rejected Macy’s request for a temporary restraining order that sought to block Penney from selling the Martha Stewart goods without her name.
In other news, the revolving door continues to turn at Penney with the news that Ron Johnson-appointee Nick Wooster, SVP of product and design is out while company veteran Ken Mangone has returned to the fold. Mangone, who left Penney last December after 35 years with the company, is returning to his previous post as EVP of product development, design and sourcing. His return is one of new CEO Myron Ullman’s first major moves in personnel.
Wooster, an outspoken fashion blogger and style-setter in men’s fashions, previously held positions with Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. He joined Penney in spring 2012, brought in to overhaul men’s clothing. But his edgy fashion-forward sensibilities, which included a penchant for European-cut or slimmer silhouettes, was considered an odd fit with Penney’s traditional customer base.
Walmart could benefit from Tesco’s exit
With 6,700 stores in 12 markets, Tesco is a formidable competitor globally, but Walmart won’t have to worry about competing with the company on its home turf.
Tesco this week confirmed earlier indications that it would indeed exit the U.S. market following disappointing results from its 199 unit Fresh & Easy concept that was introduced in Western U.S. markets in 2007. The company also indicated it has received interest from third parties for Fresh & Easy assets and would treat the business as a discontinued operation, resulting in a roughly $1.8 billion after tax negative impact on profits.
The $1.8 billion writedown associated with U.S. operations was only half the bad news for Tesco which also took other writedowns related to its operations in the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe that brought the total to negative profit impact to $3.5 billion. The big charge on its home turf where the company competes with Walmart’s Asda division was related to a decision to not develop 100 locations that had been acquired five to 10 years ago.
"All the writedowns relate to strategic decisions that I’ve taken since being CEO and are logical extensions of those – calling an end of the (UK) space race, deciding to exit the U.S.," according to a Reuters report. "My job’s not to look back, my job is only to look forward."
As for what’s next for the Fresh & Easy real estate, Walmart could conceivably be a bidder as it is keen on expanding it smaller format stores and Tesco has already done much of the heavy lifting in markets such as California where Walmart hasn’t exactly been embraced. Tesco indicated it had received a lot of interest from a range of buyers but doesn’t expect to complete the divestiture process for three months.
CVS to help support One Fund Boston
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark will join the Boston business community to support The One Fund Boston, established by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to raise money for victims and families who have been affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, the private foundation of CVS Caremark, will donate $100,000 to The One Fund Boston, which is also accepting online donations from the public at Onefundboston.org.
"CVS Caremark has deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston. We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon and its effect on victims and their family members," stated Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "We are honored to support The One Fund Boston and assist in the community’s recovery from this tragedy."
In addition, beginning April 19, more than 250 CVS/pharmacy stores in the Greater Boston area will hold an in-store donation campaign for The One Fund Boston that will allow customers to make a donation directly to the Fund at store checkout and pharmacy counters. CVS/pharmacy will encourage customers to add $1, $3 or an amount of the customer’s choice to their purchase at the register.
"We have stores only blocks away from the Boston Marathon finish line, so we know how strongly this tragedy has affected our local customers and employees and that there is a strong desire to help," added Mark Cosby, president of CVS/pharmacy. "We wanted to make it easy for our customers to support One Fund Boston by bringing an in-store donation campaign directly to the Boston community."
The CVS/pharmacy in-store donation campaign for The One Fund Boston will run until May 4.