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J.C. Penney launches new charitable program

BY Staff Writer

Plano, Texas — J.C. Penney Co. has launched a charitable initiative, called jcp cares, that will support a new cause each month by inviting customers to round up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the company’s featured charity partner. The retailer will join its customers in giving back by making a contribution to its charity partner each month.

The program will be supported by a robust, integrated marketing campaign which will include digital, social, mobile, in-store and direct mail and e-mail components.

Jcp cares will kick-off July 1 with J.C. Penney’s support of the USO (United Service Organizations), a nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Along with round-up donations raised by customers throughout the month of July, J.C. Penney will be making a $1 million donation to the USO. J.C. Penney will also donate $1 — up to $50,000 — to the USO for each customer that checks in to a J.C. Penney store via foursquare from July 23 to July 31.

Other announced charity partners will include 4-H and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (September) and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (October).

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Report: Tesco could exit U.S. if Fresh & Easy doesn’t improve

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — U.K. retailing giant Tesco PLC could give up its American supermarket venture, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, if the chain continues to disappoint and not make a profit, RetailWeek and other British news organizations reported.

In remarks at the company’s annual meeting on Friday, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke said: “If we see there is no chance of success, we’ll do as we’ve just done in Japan,” referring to Tesco’s deal this month to exit that market.

At the same time, however, Clarke sounded an upbeat note about the U.S. venture’s prospects, RetailWeek reported.

“Fresh & Easy is improving as a business and I can assure you that it is receiving close attention from the executive team,” he said. “We believe there is great value in the business and, if we get it right, an excellent stream of growth in future years.”

Clarke has refused to bow to shareholder pressure to set a target date for when Fresh & Easy, which launched in 2007, would finally begin to make a profit.

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Two down, two to go at Tuesday Morning

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS — Steven Becker and Richard Willis are the newest members of the Tuesday Morning board of directors with two more directors expected to be named in the coming months.

The infusion of new board members follows last month’s dismissal of former president and CEO Kathleen Mason and an increasing ownership interest by the Dallas-based investment firm Becker Drapkin Management. Steven Becker is a partner and co-founder of the firm which focuses on investments small capitalization companies. He also serves on the boards of Hot Topic, Ruby Tuesday, semiconductor manufacturer Pixelworks and diagnostics provider SDIX.

Before starting Becker Drapkin in Dallas in December 2009, Becker was a founding partner in Greenway Capital, a fund focused on small cap, U.S. companies. He started Greenway in 2005, after eight years at Special Situations Fund.

"We are strong believers in Tuesday Morning’s brand, business model, and potential," Becker said. "The opportunity now is to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the board and management team to improve execution and the customer experience so that this potential, as well as shareholder value, is maximized."

Tuesday Morning currently operates 852 stores.

New board member Willis currently serves as president and CEO of Navarre Corp., a distributor and provider of logistics solutions and publisher of computer software. He previously served as the executive chairman of specialty retailer Charlotte Russe, president of shoes for footwear manufacturer Crews and president and CEO of book distributor Baker & Taylor.

The company said it would work with Becker Drapkin Management to identify two additional board members in the coming months. In the meantime, the company is operating under the leadership of president and interim CEO Michael Marchetti who was elevated from his role as EVP and COO when Mason was released.

"On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome both Steve (Becker) and Richard (Willis) to our board," said Bruce Quinnell, Tuesday Morning’s board chairman. “Their track record of working constructively with public company investments, including retail companies, will be a valuable asset as we work to reinvigorate the brand."

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