JCPenney: Home on the mend
Home, still lagging its historic level of performance, was one of JCPenney’s top four categories during the first quarter – and the retailer plans to push forward as it looks to add $750 million in home sales over the next three years.
Key home initiatives described by Penney execs during this afternoon’s quarterly conference call include:
- Following up on the re-launch of a home catalog this past March with another this fall;
- Boosting in-stocks on line and in stores, especially for bedding, bath and soft window;
- Adding more style-driven stack-outs in the store, a process already underway;
- Launching exclusives such as the Eva Longoria home collection that will debut in 150 stores and online. More such programs are reportedly in the works.
“The new home catalog as well received and helped us re-connect to lapsed customers,” said ceo Mike Ullman, who added that 88% of the books were mailed to former home customers. “We have more work to do in home, but overall things are moving in an encouraging direction.”
Store traffic has rebounded to 2011 levels, he added. However, several categories of business are not pulling down the same levels of sales the used to generate from those shoppers. That includes home.
With gross margin up over 330 basis points to 36.4% of sales, net loss narrowed to $167 million, or 15 cents per share, from $3.52 million, or $1.15 per share. Sales for the quarter ended May 2 bumped up 2.0% to $2.86 billion, with comps up 3.4%.
Source:Home & Textiles Today