J.C. Penney Narrows Q2 Loss, Names Shively GMM/Home

J.C. Penney Company narrowed its net loss in the second quarter ended August 3, 2019, and asserted that it was making progress with its turnaround plans. In addition, the retailer named a new gmm/home.

For the second quarter, total net sales decreased 9.2% to $2.51 billion compared to $2.76 billion for the quarter ended August 4, 2018. Comparable sales decreased 9% for the quarter. Excluding the impact of the company’s exit from major appliance and in-store furniture categories, comparable sales decreased 6% for the quarter.

The company’s net loss was $48 million in the second quarter, or $0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $101 million, or $0.32 per share in the same period last year. Adjusted net loss was $56 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $120 million, or $0.38 per share, last year.

“I am pleased with the results we delivered this quarter and the progress we are making against our plan. While we still have work to do on our topline, I strongly believe that growing sales in an unprofitable way is simply not an option. The only way I know how to reconstruct a business, is through a holistic approach across all the key tenets of strategic, purposeful and effective retailing. Notably this quarter, the meaningful improvement we delivered in cost of goods sold was driven by lower permanent markdowns, improved shrink results, increased store and online selling margins and the exit of major appliance and in-store furniture categories. Additionally, we reduced inventory by 12.5% as we continue to reinstate the discipline required to improve inventory management and productivity. Delivering on our customers’ expectations relies heavily on our vendors and the portfolio of brands we offer. The ongoing dialogues and interactions we are having with our vendors are strong and positive— they are equally excited about our direction and are bringing new ideas and innovating with us,” said Jill Soltau, CEO of J.C. Penney.

Soltau continued, “We are not simply running a business— we are rebuilding a business. We are making a difference and today, I feel more confident than ever that we will reinvigorate and rejuvenate this great company to sustainable, profitable growth. I will continue providing updates as we move through our business plan and finalize a more comprehensive, long-term strategy for J.C. Penney.”

Shively Named GMM/Home

J.C. Penney also appointed Stacey Shively, a senior executive with nearly 25 years of retail merchandising experience, to svp/general merchandise manager for its home division, effective September 9. Reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, evp/chief merchant, Shively will be responsible for overseeing the company’s home merchandising strategies that span product categories including bedding and bath, window coverings, small electrics, cookware and tabletop, mattresses, home electronics, luggage, seasonal and home décor.

Shively comes to J.C. Penney from Bluestem Brands where she most recently served as svp/merchandising. Prior to Bluestem Brands, Shively was vp/merchandising for Deal$, a chain of discount variety stores owned and later re-branded by Dollar Tree. She began her retail career at Target Corporation where she spent 17 years assuming various positions of increasing responsibility within merchandising, negotiations, inventory and planning, stores and across business lines including home, men’s, women’s and infants.

“Stacey is an accomplished merchant who has spent her retail career curating products and experiences that appeal to a value-oriented customer based on lifestyle needs,” said Wlazlo. “Her extensive background in merchandising, product development, inventory management and developing strong vendor partnerships will enable her to drive customer centric merchandise strategies and renew J.C. Penney’s Home Store assortment and experience. We are excited for Stacey to join our team of passionate leaders as we continue forward in reinstating J.C. Penney to its rightful place in the retail landscape.”