OPERATIONS

Report: Three more execs leave J.C. Penney, including COO

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Three executives who had previously worked with Ron Johnson at Apple and then joined him at J.C. Penney have left the embattled department store chain in the wake of Johnson’s ouster, the New York Post reported.

According to the report, Mike Kramer, COO, Daniel Walker, chief talent officer, and Mike Fishe, chief creative officer, left Penney on Wednesday. The newspaper said Kramer resigned, but that it was not clear whether Walker and Fisher left voluntarily.

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FINANCE

Cold weather and early Easter hamper March sales

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — L.Brands, parent of Victoria’s Secret, reported better-than-expected 3% sales in same-store sales for March. Zumiez Inc. and Buckle Inc. also both reported better-than-expected numbers.

But other retailers were hampered by a colder-than-normal March, which caused many shoppers to put off buying warmer-weather clothing, and an early Easter. At The TJX Companies, same-store sales fell 2% in March, a bigger drop than was expected.

“Due to the year-over-year timing of Easter, we had not planned March to be a strong month against last year’s high increase, and our comparable store sales were in line with our expected range,” said Carol Meyrowitz, CEO, TJX Companies, Inc. “This was despite the extraordinarily cold weather across most regions in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In regions of the U.S. where weather was not an issue, we saw comp sales increases. Further, overall business trends improved as the weather became warmer.”

Cato Corp. said its March same-store sales were down 11% hurt by the fact that Easter fell earlier on the calendar than last year. It said it expects a corresponding benefit when it reports April sales next month, and that looking at its two-month combined results will be the best way to measure its sales trend.

Stein Mart Inc. said its same-store sales fell 2.8% in March, falling short of Wall Street predictions. The company said sales were hurt by cold weather and an earlier Easter holiday.

"This year, more than ever, it will be important to combine March and April sales results to get a true picture of our spring selling season due to this year’s Easter calendar shift," said CEO Jay Stein.

Fred’s Inc. said its sales fell 3%, more than expected. The discounter cited cool weather and the timing shift in the Easter holiday.

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News

Dell, Microsoft partner to improve supply chain efficiency for OEM customers

BY CSA STAFF

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dell OEM Solutions announced that it has worked with Microsoft Corp. to become a global distributor, outsource manufacturer and integrator for Windows Embedded products.

The agreement, which went into effect on April 1, enables Dell to provide Windows Embedded product licenses (COAs) with Dell product solutions. This means it is easier for Dell OEM Solutions customers to bring their products and solutions to market through:

  • Shorter lead times with in-stock COAs

  • Streamlined purchase order processes by eliminating the requirements for custom factory integration (CFI) and custom factory service (CFS)

  • Eliminated need for multiple in-region suppliers due to global implementation

“We’re very excited to be the only tier-one manufacturer able to bring our customers this level of integration with Windows Embedded products,” said Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions, Dell. “With streamlined processes, fewer suppliers to manage and seamless globalization, we can help more customers drive innovation, speed time to revenue and deliver their intellectual property to end users taking advantage of Dell hardware, services, engineering and supply chain capabilities.”

“Simplifying IT for enterprises has been the primary goal of our work with Dell for more than 30 years,” said John Doyle, director of product management for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “This licensing agreement with Dell exemplifies that shared goal, helping to streamline the supply chain experience to make it easier and quicker for OEM customers to bring their innovative intelligent systems solutions and devices to market.”

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