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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News

Febreze scores touchdown with first-ever athletic equipment, gear drive

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI – Febreze teamed up with the Dallas Forth-Worth Salvation Army to collect new and gently used sports equipment and athletic gear at the NFL Experience, an exhibit held at the Dallas Convention Center.

The two will host the first-ever Febreze Game Day Freshness Sports Equipment Drive Jan. 27 to 30, and Feb. 2 to 6. The equipment and gear will be freshened using Febreze products and donated to the North Texas Youth Education Town in Arlington, said Febreze, which is the official air freshener of the National Football League.

"We are proud to support local youth organizations like the Youth Education Town and its continued spirit of giving to young athletes," said Scott Beal, brand manager of Febreze. "Febreze products, specifically our Febreze Sport line, are designed to eliminate tough sports odors from fabrics like shoes, apparel, and other athletic gear and keep sports equipment that you can’t wash fresh for any athlete, during any sports season."

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