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New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

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Ex Rangers manager Washington apologizes for 'breaking wife's trust'

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he is embarrassed for 'breaking his wife's trust.'

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Cooking Class: Fort Worth chef brings home the gold

Toques off to Timothy Prefontaine. The executive chef at the iconic Fort Worth Club is currently the best in the nation, according to the American Culinary Federation. Prefontaine earned the title of 2014 U.S.A.’s Chef of the

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Fort Worth firm 'simplifies' advertising

Reaching customers requires more than price slashing and flashy ads. In today’s competitive marketplace, machines – not men and women – are essential to tapping new markets and

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Trinity Valley School leader to leave in May 2015

Gary Krahn, head of school for the past eight years at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, will leave his position in May 2015 when he and his wife Paula will move

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J.C. Penney posts encouraging sales numbers

 

NEW YORK (AP) – J.C. Penney said a key sales figure rose in its first quarter, offering an encouraging sign for the beleaguered department store operator.

The company, which is based in Plano, Texas, said sales at stores open at least a year rose 6.2 percent in the period, marking the second straight quarterly gain. The figure, a key indicator of health for retailers, had tumbled 16.6 percent in the year-ago period.

Penney's stock surged more than 20 percent to $10.08 in aftermarket trading.

The company has been trying to recover from a botched transformation plan by former CEO Ron Johnson that resulted in massive losses and plunging sales. Johnson, the mastermind behind Apple's retail concept, was ousted in April of last year after 17 months on the job, and the board brought back former CEO Mike Ullman.

Ullman is trying to win back shoppers by restoring sales events and basic merchandise the company ditched under Johnson's tenure in a bid to attract affluent, younger consumers. The efforts have included the discontinuation of some brands, including William Rast and Joe by Joseph Abboud, that were brought in by Johnson but didn't resonate with Penney's middle-income shoppers.

Ullman is also revamping the home area, a key driver of customer traffic, after Johnson's plan to overhaul the section with too many trendy and pricy items didn't sit well with customers.

"It is clear that our efforts to re-merchandise many areas of the store and revamp our messaging to the customer are taking hold," Ullman said in a statement Thursday.

In a conference call with analysts later, however, he noted that "there's still work to be done."

The company also said that going forward it would simplify the way it calculates its sales at stores open at least a year, with sales return estimates and other items no longer being included. Under that new methodology, J.C. Penney said, its sales at stores open at least a year rose 7.4 percent in the period.

Looking ahead, J.C. Penney Co. said it expects sales at established stores to rise in the mid-single digits and gross margin to improve significantly from last year. When asked about a CEO succession plan, Ullman said there's "no major changes on the horizon."

But the company's results still show that it needs to increase how much profit it makes on each item and do more to bring back customers.

For the period ended May 3, the company said, it lost $352 million, or $1.15 per share, which was better than the loss of $1.25 per share analysts expected. A year ago, the lost $1.58 per share.

Revenue rose to $2.8 billion, above the $2.71 billion analysts expected.

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What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?