The red ink flowed at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. in the first quarter, but chief executive officer Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd is focusing on the future.
“We’re looking forward, not back,” Ullman said on a conference call with analysts.
Penney’s net losses widened to $348 million, or $1.58 a share, from $163 million, or 75 cents, a year earlier. Excluding restructuring and management transition charges and other items, losses tallied $1.31 a share and were much steeper than the 86 cents Wall Street analysts projected on average.
Sales for the three months ended May 4 fell 16.4 percent to $2.64 billion from $3.15 billion.
Penney’s burnt through $948 million in free cash flow during the quarter as it rolled out over 500 revamped home goods shops and made catch-up payments to vendors.
Ullman was careful not to get ahead of himself as he talked about Penney’s path forward after former ceo Ron Johnson’s efforts to cut price promotions and create a series of shops-in-shop fell flat and drove the company to losses of nearly $1 billion last year.
“We need to make a connection with the customer in a way that is meaningful as well as enduring,” Ullman said. “We are really listening to the customer and putting her first in everything we do. We need to get the right merchandise into the right place in the right time.”
Ullman is reemphasizing Penney’s private brands, such as St. John’s Bay, and looking to ramp up promotional marketing around key shopping periods. He is also bringing jcp.com back to the fore, working to better integrate the firm’s e-commerce business with the stores.
“We believe we can put J.C. Penney back on the pathway to profitable growth,” Ullman said, without being specific as to just when the company would get back into the black.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty