Penney announces profit—and plans to downsize store fleet

J.C. Penney on Friday announced plans to close stores and reduce its workforce even as it reported its first profit since 2010.    In one of its deepest cuts to date, the retailer said it will close 130 to 140 stores, which represent about 13% to 14% of its total, 1,014 store base. The locations to be shuttered are unprofitable, Penney said, and generated less than 5% of total annual sales.

Source: Penney announces profit—and plans to downsize store fleet

Supermarket retailer promotes COO

Raley’s has given COO Keith Knopf the additional title of president. Raleys owner & CEO, Michael Teel announced the promotion of Knopf, who joined the company nearly two years ago, around the time Teel took majority ownership of the company. Teel will continue to direct the development of Raley’s overall strategic plan.

Source: Supermarket retailer promotes COO

Survey: Top priority of CEOs is…

Digital transformation is CEOs’ number one priority this year.   To make this a reality, chief executives are investing their capital in the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, robotics, and augmented reality, according to “CEO Viewpoint 2017: The Transformation of Retail,” a report from JDA Software Group and PwC.

Source: Survey: Top priority of CEOs is…

Report: Christian bookstore to close all 200-plus locations

Family Christian is going out of business.   The company said Thursday, Feb. 23 that it plans to close all 240 stores across 36 states, according to Reuters.    Family Christian filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2015 with more than $120 million in debt. Since then, the chain continued to face a sales slump amid growing competition from online stores.

Source: Report: Christian bookstore to close all 200-plus locations

RH Q4 profits top Street forecasts

While RH continued to make investments to transform its business model, these efforts impacted the company’s preliminary fourth quarter earnings.   The furniture and housewares company, which officially changed its name from Restoration Hardware to RH last month, posted net income of $8.75 million, or 21 cents per share, for the quarter ended January 28, 2017. This was a drop from $33.3 million in fourth quarter 2015. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 68 cents per share, beating analyst estimates of 65 cents per share.

Source: RH Q4 profits top Street forecasts

Specialty athletic retailer grows profit for seventh straight year

Foot Locker won its race in the fourth quarter.   For the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2017, the specialty athletic retailer’s profits hit $189 million, or $1.42 per share, compared with net income of $158 million, or $1.14 per share in the same period of 2015. This exceeded analyst estimates of $1.31 per share.   The company’s revenue hit $2.11 billion in the period, which met Street forecasts. This was a jump from approximately $2.01 billion for the same period last year.

Source: Specialty athletic retailer grows profit for seventh straight year

Beauty retailer gets ‘virtual makeover’

A new kind of makeup consultant is assisting shoppers at Watsons Shanghai.   The health and beauty retailer’s flagship store in Shanghai now features a makeover kiosk. Equipped with the Consultation Mode augmented reality app from YouCam Makeup, the device enables shoppers to try on over 30 different products from their favorite makeup brands, including MaxFactor, Maybelline, and KATE Cosmetics.

Source: Beauty retailer gets ‘virtual makeover’

Study: Mobile click-to-open rates slipped in 2016

Retailers are increasingly relying on mobility for customer engagement, however their marketing strategies are lagging.    The fourth quarter 2016 marked the first time mobile engagement has trended down as the mobile click-to-open (CTO) rate declined by 12.6% quarter-over-quarter, and 14.4% year-over-year, according “Q4 2016 Email Benchmark Report: The Mobile Engagement Shift,” from Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

Source: Study: Mobile click-to-open rates slipped in 2016