JCPenney 1Q earnings down, expects 2Q loss
PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported earnings per share of 11 cents per share for the first quarter ended May 2, compared to 54 cents per share in last year’s first quarter. Net income for this year’s first quarter was $25 million versus $120 million last year.
“Our performance in the first quarter reflects the strides we made in communicating to customers the style, quality and value of our offerings. This helped drive better-than-expected sales throughout the quarter and, along with alignment of inventory levels to current sales trends, led to improved gross margins. Combined with our continued success in controlling expenses, we achieved flow through to bottom line results that improved steadily versus our outlook at the beginning of the quarter,” said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and CEO of JCPenney.
Total sales in the first quarter decreased 5.9% compared to last year, while comparable-store sales decreased 7.5%. The strongest merchandise result was in women’s apparel and, geographically, the best performance was in the southwest region of the country. The weakest results were in fine jewelry and in the Southeast region.
JCPenney expects total sales in the second quarter to decrease 7% to 10% and comparable-store sales to decrease 9% to 12%. The company expects a loss in the range of 15 cents to 25 cents per share.
Dollar General awards $4.8 million to literacy programs
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. Dollar General announced that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded grants totaling $4.8 million to 314 nonprofit organizations that promote literacy and education.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation aims to increase literacy among adults and families through its grant program. Approximately 99,000 individual students and families living in the 35 states where Dollar General operates stores will be supported by these grants. The grants support adult basic education, GED preparation, English as a Second Language, and family and work force literacy initiatives.
“We are proud to support the hopes and dreams of those who want to better their lives through education,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “We hope to build better communities and brighter futures by funding literacy and education organizations in the towns Dollar General calls home.”
JCPenney launches American Living, Rascall Flatts campaign
PLANO, Texas JCPenney announced the launch of an integrated marketing campaign supporting the company’s official sponsorship of the “Rascal Flatts American Living Unstoppable Tour.” Kicking off on June 5, the nationwide tour will promote American Living, the retailer’s affordable, all-American lifestyle brand developed exclusively for the JCPenney customer by Polo Ralph Lauren’s Global Brand Concepts.
“With its fresh take on classic style and impeccable quality at affordable prices, American Living has gained wide customer acceptance since its launch, quickly becoming a powerful lifestyle brand that truly differentiates JCPenney in the retail marketplace,” said Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandising officer for JCPenney.
The campaign will include television, in-store and online components featuring Rascall Flatts band members.