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J.C. Penney Q1 same-store sales down 16.6%, missing estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

Plano, Texas — In preliminary results, J.C. Penney Co. on Tuesday reported that same-store sales in its first quarter decreased approximately 16.6%, a deeper drop than was expected.

The company, which will report full results on May 16, said that it anticipates total sales of approximately $2.635 billion for the quarter, down some 16.4% from $3.152 billion in the same period last year.

Penney said it estimates cash and cash equivalents to be approximately $821 million as of May 4, 2013, with total debt is expected to be approximately $3.818 billion.

The company attributed the sales decline partly to the construction of home departments in 505 stores and to its prior pricing and marketing strategies, which it said are being changed under its new and returning CEO Mike Ullman.

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Staples names new EVP of global e-commerce

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples has appointed Faisal Masud as its new EVP of global e-commerce. In the newly created role, Masud will be responsible for leading online and digital growth. He will report to Demos Parneros, president of North American stores and online for Staples.

“Faisal brings deep experience at some of the world’s most innovative e-commerce companies, including eBay, Groupon and nine years at Amazon,” Parneros said. “His background managing and developing large-scale digital businesses will play an important role at Staples as we rapidly expand our product assortment and grow our online business as part of our strategic plan.”

Masud will be charged with building Staples’ digital channels and leading e-commerce efforts across the company, as Staples invests heavily in digital commerce. Masud will also lead the continued development of Staples platforms and sites, including staples.com and the company’s mobile assets.

Masud has more than a decade of digital experience, building end-to-end, global e-commerce solutions that have driven growth and improved the customer experience. He joins Staples from Groupon, Inc., where he was VP and GM, responsible for managing Groupon Goods’ strategy and execution in more than 35 countries, and directly managed all functions for his business unit, including merchandising, inventory, marketing, engineering and operations.

Prior to joining Groupon, Masud was head of global shipping and cross-border trade for eBay-PayPal, where he designed and managed a global shipping platform, which made eBay’s marketplace selection available worldwide, and improved delivery experiences and cost. He also created a cross-border trade logistics solution, while leading large cross-functional teams driving shipping efficiency and increased volume. Previously, he was GM of worldwide warehouse deals and global sourcing at Amazon, where he led the development and implementation of a new retail storefront and managed the overall strategy for Amazon’s trade-in platform traffic generation, customer acquisition and pricing policy. Masud has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Southeastern University.

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A Whole Foods home run in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Same stores sales increase 6.9% and earnings per share increased 19% to 76 cents, three cents better than analysts forecast. The company’s performance was favorable across the board, according to co-founder, and co-CEO John Mackey.

"We delivered another quarter of strong sales and earnings growth, reporting record results on many levels," Mackey said. "The demand for fresh, healthy foods continues to grow, and we are leading the way as America’s healthiest grocery store with close to seven million customers visiting our stores each week. We believe we will continue to gain market share as we accelerate our new store openings, improve our relative value proposition while maintaining our high quality standards, and further differentiate our shopping experience."

The company ended its second quarter April 14 with 349 stores.

Based on the company’s results for the first half of the fiscal year, the full year financial forecasts for sales was narrowed to a range of 12% to 14% and the earnings per share forecast was raised to a range of $2.86 from $2.89, encompassing analysts’ estimate of $2.87.

The stock split the company announced with take effect on May 29 for holders of record on May 17.

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