http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/49120313-jc-penney-co-inc-jcp-q4-2012.aspx

J.C. Penney Co Inc JCP
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/27/2013

Ron Johnson - CEO: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our fourth quarter earnings presentation and conference call I'd also like to welcome all of our employees here in Plano who are in our cafeteria and in our town hall gathering space. Ken Hannah and I are here live from Plano and I would like to start today with a few comments about the past year, about what we accomplished, what we learned, and what we will do going forward; then I'll hand it back to Ken for a financial presentation; following Ken's presentation we'll be happy to take your questions.

Let's start with the accomplishments. First, during the past 12 months we launched an entirely new vision for JCPenney. We developed our plans to reposition JCPenney as a specialty department store. We built out a nearly 60,000 square-foot prototype here in Dallas and have shared this vision with our key partners throughout the world. They are excited about where we're headed and eager to participate.

Second, we have built an entirely new senior team, combined the best of JCPenney with key additions from the outside. We have amazing leadership in finance, operations, design, sourcing, information systems, real estate, store design, construction, marketing and human resources. Yet at the same time we have promoted nearly 400 employees at our Plano Headquarters and in our regional centers. Our teams are committed to our transformation and working closely together to deliver on our vision.

Third, we built out eight shops last year and learnt that shops work, and we have more on the way. Our first shops included great plans that we already offered our customer such as Levi, IZOD and Liz Claiborne. You have heard from the leadership team that Levi and IZOD about how thrilled they are with the shop performance and looking at the numbers I can understand their enthusiasm.

Fourth, we dramatically improved the look and feel of all of our stores all 1100. We reduced inventory, we focused our content, we invested heavily in a variety of visual display elements such as manikins and new signage and our customers have noticed, everyone who visits our store say they have never looked better.

Fifth, under the leadership of Mike Kramer, Ken Hannah and others, we simplified our business model and our organizational structure. We have eliminate non-productive work and invested time and things that directly serve our customer. The result was a massive change in our cost structure. This year alone we actualized savings of $800 million and we are well on our way to achieve the $900 million run rate in savings that we identified just a year ago.

Sixth, we began the year with outdated, customized, difficult to maintain information systems and under Kristen Blum leadership we exit the year with a vision to completely overhaul our IT platform, partnering closely with Oracle we’re in the middle of a complete overhaul of our finance, merchandising, planning, allocation and store systems, so that we can compete with the most modern systems in our industry. In fact, we are well on our way.

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