JCP CEO says confident company will return to 'sustainable, profitable growth'
"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, chief executive officer of JCPenney. "Today we will begin sharing more insights from where we have been as a company and the holistic approach we are taking to reposition JCPenney to its rightful place in the retail landscape. We have attracted top talent in the industry and each of these passionate leaders made a choice to come to JCPenney at a pivotal time. Together, we are laser-focused on two parallel paths. One is building a framework to reestablish the practices needed to strengthen the day to day operations of our business. Concurrently, we are developing differentiating, transformational initiatives. The journey we are on will restore health back into our company. It is an ongoing process and the proposition we are implementing is for the long-term. 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 JCPenney."