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J.C. Penney’s Q3 losses greater than anticipated; same-store sales fall 26.1%

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. on Friday reported a 26.1% decline in third-quarter same-store sales, more than the 17.9% that Wall Street analysts were expecting.

Overall sales fell 26.6% to $2.93 billion. Internet sales fell 37.3% to $214 million.

The company said that its net loss narrowed to $123 million in the third quarter ended Oct. 27, from $143 million a year earlier. The loss was wider than analysts had expected.

J.C. Penney CEO told investors on Friday said the he remained “100% committed” to his transformation plan for the chain, which includes eliminating most coupons and sales events and converting the space its 1,100 stores into a series of branded in-store shops. In a statement, Johnson described Penney as a “tale of two companies,” with the old J.C. Penney still struggling and the new stores surpassing his expectations.

Industry experts say there have been signs that the first few branded shops, which include Levi’s and Liz Claiborne, are more productive than the traditional areas. The chain’s CFO told investors that the branded shops have sales per square foot of $269 versus $134 in the existing areas of the store.

Veteran retail analyst Walter Loeb, president of retail management consultant Loeb Associates, expressed concern about J.C. Penney would fare during the upcoming holiday season in a Reuters report.

“I expect a big drop in sales,” Loeb said. “[Johnson] must generate traffic. I think he has to be more promotional.”

In January, Johnson warned that his transformation of the chain would take four years. He has repeated continually since then the change is a “marathon” and not a sprint.

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More junk science from Consumer Reports

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart will sell a bazillion electronics products this holiday season, no thanks to Consumer Reports which rates the company last as a CE destination.

Apple and Costco were ranked one and two as the best venues for CE items followed by a bizarre classification called "independents," considering the CE space is dominated by chains. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and Sam’s Club ranked highly. Walmart was last among the 14 physical retailers ranked with a score of 81, compared to Apple and Costco at 92.

Could Walmart do a better job with the CEdepartment? Absolutely. But thescores are really irrelevant because retailers serve different shoppers segments who have varying expectations when it comes to price, service, selection and other elements of the shopping experience. The Consumer Reports exercise doesn’t take these factors into account which makes its ratings essentially useless for anyone relying on the publication for insight into where to make a CE purchase.

Instead, the ratings are a highly subjective assessment of the 23,639 Consumer Reports readers who bought CE item during the 18 month period from January 2011 through June 2012. As such, they reflect only the views of those who subscribe to the publication, glaring deficiency the publication calls out with the footnote, "Results might not reflect the U.S. population." The ratings reflect the demographics of the Consumer Reports audience and those details are not provided even thought such insights would make the results more revelvant.

 

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Hasbro named one of America’s most ‘community-minded’ companies

BY CSA STAFF

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Hasbro has been named as one of America’s most community-minded companies. Hasbro was selected in the top 10 by "The Civic 50," the first comprehensive ranking of S&P 500 corporations that best use their time, talent, and resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. This list also includes companies such as IBM, Citi and AT&T.

“Hasbro is honored to be recognized alongside some very deserving companies as a member of the inaugural Civic 50,” said Brian Goldner, president and CEO, Hasbro. “For nearly 90 years, Hasbro’s commitment to civic engagement has been part of our DNA and we remain focused on providing our employees’ talent and our company’s resources along with an element of fun to help empower children worldwide.”

Hasbro was evaluated on several elements, including leadership, measurement and strategy, design, employee civic health, community partnerships, cause alignment and transparency. The survey was conducted by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and Points of Light, the nation’s definitive experts on civic engagement, in partnership with Bloomberg LP.

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