FINANCE

J.C. Penney responds to critics

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney on Thursday shot back at reports that its sales were weak in the late August and early September back-to-school season and said it was pleased with the progress of its turnaround efforts.

The company said it still expected positive comparable-store sales trends coming out of the third quarter and throughout the fourth, adding that its online sales continue to rise in double-digits over last year.

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FINANCE

Staples Canada reports 9% drop in energy consumption for second quarter

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ontario, Canada — Staples Canada announced its sustainability achievements for the second quarter of 2013, including a 9% drop in energy consumption (over the year-ago period). The retailer continues to focus on its long-term commitment to growing the business in a sustainable manner, and reducing its impact on the environment.

Staples said it continues to reduce energy consumption and is working to conserve energy across the business by reducing overall energy costs, and diversifying energy sources. By the end of 2012, a large majority of Staples Canada store locations ran on 25 watt light bulbs, helping to reduce electrical consumption by over 11%.

The retailer’s 2013 goal is to reduce electrical consumption by 5%. Staples is also piloting efficient destratification fans in several locations, replacing HVAC units, and planning an exterior lighting retrofit for by the end of fourth quarter 2013.

Through its “Lights Out” program, Staples reduced electrical consumption in June and July by over 2.4 million KW.

Staples Canada has partnered with Bullfrog Power, to provide the retailer with clean, renewable electricity for two office buildings and 11 stores across Canada. This partnership makes Staples Canada the 10th largest consumer of renewable energy in Canada.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook eases promotional contests

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menlo Park, Calif. – Facebook has released a new update designed to help make brand promotion through contests easier to handle. Brands can now create a contest and control it through their Facebook business page timelines.

However, personal profile timelines cannot be used to back up a brand promotion contest. Facebook has removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook may only be administered within apps. With the change, promotions may now be administered on page timelines and in apps on Facebook, but not on personal timelines.

As a result, business pages can now collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post, as well as collect entries by having users message the page. Facebook has also updated its page terms to prohibit pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in.

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