J.C. Penney drives ahead, puts first-quarter loss in rearview mirror
By Jay Keller
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is looking forward instead of backwards, working hard over the past five weeks to reconnect with their customer base while taking steps to stabilize the business by improving balance sheets and placing senior leaders in key departments.
After dismal first-quarter results reported on Thursday showed a net loss of $348 million, or $289 million after removing the management and transition charges, jcpenney CEO Mike Ullman greeted the news with optimism and enthusiasm.
“Our objective is to put jcpenney back on a path to profitable growth,” Ullman said in a statement.
J.C. Penney is already thanking consumers for returning to stores with a new video spot that speaks directly to Ullman’s strategic vision – deliver customers the shopping experience they want.
Ullman says new leadership is “intensely focused on renewing customer excitement and loyalty” and wants the “promotional cadence” to be warm, inviting and clear to customers.
Just two weeks ago, jcpenney launched an apologetic social media blitz that served as a bold confession that the department store had failed to reinvent the brand, the customer experience and strayed too far from its decades-old heritage.
Ullman recognized on Tuesday that the road to recovery is long and success depends this time on listening to the customer’s needs.
“There is a good deal of work ahead,” Ullman said. “[B]ut by listening to our customers and providing the shopping experience they want, we are confident we will deliver for them and improve performance for the benefit of our suppliers, associates and shareholders.”
Signs of a new jcpenney have popping up under the radar, with industry watchdogs pointing out that the department store has recently changed its logo in what some call “stealthily unveiling a brand new logo.”
J.C. Penney unveiled a new corporate logo in late Jan. 2012, the third in three years, under former CEO Ron Johnson.
The company continues to reposition its assets to pay for the transition, evidenced by Tuesday’s move to increase its tender offer consideration to stockholders from $1,300 to $1,400 per $1,000 principal.
On April 15, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. announced plans to draw $850 million out of its $1.85 billion committed revolving credit facility to fund ongoing.
During the first two quarters of 2013, jcpenney introduced the Joe Fresh brand inside 681 stores and upgraded its home department featuring brands like Michael Graves, Jonathan Adler and Sir Terence Conran.
Additionally, jcpenney plans to increase to the number of in-store Sephora kiosks, which first opened in Jan. 2013, to 446 by year’s end.
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