FINANCE

J.C. Penney seeks up to $1 billion in equity

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – J.C. Penney Company Inc. reportedly seeks to raise $750 million to $1 billion in cash equity. According to Reuters, J.C. Penney, which is valued at $2.6 billion, is considering issuing new stock shares as well as other unspecified alternatives.

As reported in Chain Store Age, J.C. Penney Co.’s stock on Wednesday plunged to a 13-year low of $10.12 at the end of trading. The stock fell to $9.94, the lowest since January 2001, before recovering up to $10.12. Industry experts credited the 15% plunge to reports that the chain did not have a good back-to-school season, with sales falling at the end August and into September. Investors have also been made wary by recent reports have indicated that the chain needs to raise more cash.

In a research note on Penney’s credit, Goldman Sachs raised concerns about the chain’s sales. "We expect 3Q and 4Q to be difficult, with comp store sales likely showing a slower-than-expected improvement,” Goldman said.

Last week, it was reported that Penney was trying to raise additional cash on top of the $3 billion it already had borrowed this year. Penney declined to comment in the Reuters article.

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OPERATIONS

Study finds high customer satisfaction among U.S. online shoppers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Reston, Va. — Online shoppers in the U.S. lead the world in customer satisfaction. According to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report released in conjunction with comScore, Inc., shoppers in the U.S. are the most satisfied with online shopping experiences at 83%, while consumers in the Asia Pacific are least satisfied at only 50%.

The flexibility around delivery and returns were among the areas with the least satisfaction across the globe. More than half of consumers around the world said they would shop more with a retailer offering a hassle-free returns policy.

The study also found creating a mobile app can help prevent comparison shopping in all markets, especially in Mexico and Europe, nearly half in the U.S., but not as much in Asia. Global consumers are connected to social media channels and are open to promotions from retailers.

“Liking” a brand through Facebook is most prevalent in Asia (81%) and Mexico (76%), but least common in Europe. The majority of shoppers in Asia and Europe (79%) prefer to gain access to retailers though mobile or digital channels, while more than half of shoppers in Canada and Australia prefer to shop in-store.

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FINANCE

Holland & Holland debuts U.S. e-commerce site

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — British lifestyle brand Holland & Holland is launching its U.S. e-commerce site today. This interactive e-commerce site will allow Holland & Holland clothing, fashion accessories, gifts and shooting accoutrement to be available for purchase for the first time nationwide.

We are truly excited to introduce our online store in the U.S.," said Guy Davies, director of sales for Holland & Holland. "While we will continue to have a physical presence in our New York City Gun Room, as well as select, authorized retailers across the country, this expansion allows us to reach our customers anywhere in the U.S., in the comfort of their own home."

Holland & Holland has a second gun room in the U.S., located within deBoulle Diamond & Jewelry in Dallas. Additional authorized American retailers include Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear and Apparel in Thomasville, Ga., Covey & Nye in Manchester, Vt., and Circle Seven in Madison, Miss.

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