J.C. Penney pulls back a bit on holiday expectations
New York City — Speaking at the Goldman Sachs 18th Annual Global Retailing Conference in New York City, Myron Ullman III, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Co., expressed confidence that the chain is well positioned for the holiday selling season. However, he noted that uncertain economic conditions have caused the chain to pull back on its expectations.
Ullman noted that customers are still purchasing promotionally priced items along with full-priced goods.
Lowe’s to build DC in Rome, Ga.
New York City — Lowe’s Cos. plans to build a 1.4-million-sq.-ft. distribution center in Rome, Ga.
The facility, due to open in 2013, will service Lowe’s stores in western Georgia, northern Florida and Alabama
Conn’s swings to Q2 loss on charges
Beaumont, Texas — Conn’s said Wednesday it lost $3.4 million in the second quarter, compared to net income of $1.6 million the year before. The company said that the loss was due to one-time charges, which included $3.7 million for closing three stores and $11.1 million for repaying a loan earlier than expected. Without those items, the company would have earned $5.5 million.
Revenue fell 13% to $184.4 million on declining sales of TVs and computers.
Conn’s caters to lower-income consumers, with rent-to-own programs and in-store financing. The company said it could still close more stores in the near future. The recently-shuttered stores were in areas where the average household income was nearly $100,000 per year, while and Conn’s targets households that make less than $50,000.
As part of its plans for returning to profitability, Conn’s said it expects to open five to seven locations in new markets in 2012. It is devoting more floor space to better-selling — and higher-margin — furniture and mattresses.