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JC Penney downwardly revises Q3 sales outlook
Oct '14
Following dull September sales, US apparel retailer - JC Penney revised downwardly comparable store sales for the third quarter of 2014, which it now expects to be in the low-single digit range, compared to its original guidance of mid-single digit growth.

However, the clothing retailer reaffirmed all other guidance for the third quarter and full fiscal year 2014, which includes delivering mid-single digit comparable store sales growth and positive free cash flow for the year.

JC Penney also hopes to achieve $1.2 billion in EBITDA in 2017. This reflects expectations for top line improvements associated with incremental growth potential, as well as continued market share gains in its underlying business, which it said, represents a $3.5 billion sales opportunity.

Of that amount, JC Penney conservatively expects to realize approximately $2 billion in incremental sales over the next three years, resulting in mid-single digit sales growth during that period.

At its 2014 analyst meeting in New York City JC Penney also presented its plans for restoring sustainable profitable growth over the next three years.

Senior leadership attributed the company's progress and enhanced outlook to a renewed focus on the compelling customer proposition that differentiates JC Penney in the marketplace.

It said it has rebuilt and re-established the right merchandise assortment and undertaken other initiatives which include focusing on powerful private brands, sought-after national brands and creating exclusive attractions for customers and which can only be found at JC Penney.

JC Penney is also demonstrating digital leadership by advancing the mobile commerce functionality of its ecommerce website, by providing customers enhanced options to shop, ship or pick up their JCPenney merchandise.

This includes putting in place an enterprise-wide inventory network that will enable several customer-centric capabilities, such as same day pick-up and same day delivery, creating a seamless customer experience.

Finally, the JC Penney leadership outlined how associate engagement - integral to building customer loyalty - has significantly improved across the company, enabling teams to achieve customer service scores that are at an all-time high.

During the analyst meeting, senior leaders identified three areas of the business that are expected to generate incremental sales growth, which include revitalizing the highest traffic area in the store, improving productivity of the Home Store and maximizing reach of omnichannel capabilities.

JC Penney is also focused on attracting a new and younger customer by investing in popular in-store attractions that can only be found at JC Penney. To that end, it announced the expansion of its highly successful partnership with Sephora.

"JC Penney is in a far stronger position today than it was when we began our turnaround effort 18 months ago. I am confident that the initiatives we are putting in place will fuel new growth and earn greater customer loyalty,” CEO - Myron Ullman III said. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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