Royal Mail’s revenues from marketing mail grew by 3% in the first half of the year, boosted by an increase in DM spend and in its own data activities. The group posted sales down 1.8% to £4.39bn in the six months to 27 September, while a big jump in restructuring costs resulted in operating profits that were down 17.6% to £248m. Pre-tax profits fell 30% to £116m. The bill for ‘transformation costs’ doubled year-on-year to £94m, in part because of higher voluntary redundancy costs. Almost 3,000 workers left its UK Parcels, International and Letters (UKPIL) business, most taking voluntary redundancy. Royal Mail said it had reduced costs by some £200m in the last three years, and had more than 70 projects underway “targeted to avoid around £500m of annualised costs by 2017-18”.
It’s been 100 years since J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) said howdy to the great state of Texas, and the Company is fixin’ to celebrate its rich legacy in the Lone Star State. The Company will commemorate a century of serving Texas customers on March 31 with a special anniversary ceremony at its location in Wichita Falls – the same city founder James Cash Penney made his first foothold in the state 100 years ago.
“James Cash Penney was a retail trailblazer during the early 20th century, expanding his Company across the country at a rapid clip to provide the best products and highest levels of service to hard-working Americans,” said Joe McFarland, executive vice president of stores. “He operated his business based upon the Golden Rule of treating customers as he would like to be treated, and this guiding principle still resonates with Texans today. We’re proud to return to our roots and celebrate the occasion with our customers and associates in Wichita Falls and Texas.”
During the early 1900s, the J.C. Penney Company was swiftly expanding across America. With 120 store locations serving customers in thriving downtown locations across multiple states, Penney opened an additional 50 store locations in 1917 – five located within Texas. The timing of these store openings was particularly precarious, as the United States was preparing to enter World War I. Penney persisted in his vision of serving customers in additional markets despite the war, opening 20 more locations across the U.S. in 1918.
Four of the five stores that opened in Texas 100 years ago – Abilene, Paris, Temple and Wichita Falls – are still operating within their original communities today at alternate locations. After World War II, the Company followed its customers from downtown shopping districts into sprawling suburbs, and later into regional shopping malls, as society and shopping patterns evolved. Today, Texas is home to 90 JCPenney stores and the Company’s Home Office, which relocated to Plano from New York City in 1988.
To honor the Company’s centennial in Texas, the state’s legislature is composing a concurrent resolution that would recognize the retailer’s historic milestone. The resolution, which requires passage by both the Texas senate and house of representatives, salutes JCPenney for serving customers, creating jobs and contributing to the vitality of the Texas retail industry. The resolution also extends best wishes to the Company and its associates for continued success.