orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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November 9, 2012

J.C. Penney reports hefty 3Q loss

(Continued)

NEW YORK — In addition to those things, Johnson is hoping other aspects of his plan will resonate with consumers.

Among them, the remake of Penney's stores. The company is adding 10 mini-shops with various designers within in stores. The company plans to add 100 shops inside 700 of its 1,100 stores by late 2014. The remaining 400 stores are in small towns and won't feature the full makeover.

Surrounding those shops will be extra-wide aisles that Johnson calls "streets." Along those pathways will be ice cream and coffee bars and wood tables with built-in iPad tablet computers shoppers can use. In the middle of it all, a Town Square will offer activities like Pilates.

Johnson said in September that he's encouraged by sales at the new shops, which are faring better than the rest of the stores. But Penney still has a long way to go toward revamping its business.

The retailer, based in Plano, Texas, said it lost 56 cents per share, or $123 million in the quarter ended Oct. 27. That compares with a loss of $143 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year ago period when results were dragged down by costs related to the management transition and a voluntary retirement program. Revenue dropped 26.6 percent to $2.93 billion in the quarter. Analysts had expected a 15 cent loss on revenue of $3.27 billion.

On the news, Penney shares fell more than 4 percent, or 90 cents, to $20.79. Investors, who initially sent Penney shares soaring 24 percent to about $43 after the company announced the pricing plan in late January, have pushed them down nearly 40 percent since the beginning of the year.

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