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Retail Briefs

J.C. Penney Raises Outlook

With May and June turning in better than expected results, J.C. Penney this month raised its guidance for second quarter earnings. The company now expects a loss of 8 cents to 12 cents per share versus a previous expectation of a loss in the range of 15 cents to 25 cents per share.

The company also confirmed second quarter comp sales at the favorable end of its original guidance. JCP expects a comp decline of 9.5% to 10.5%. Earlier, it forecast a decrease of 9% to 12%.

This month, JCP expects comps tor fall 13% to 16%, citing a later start to back-to-school shopping this year as well as the shift of several state's tax-free shopping periods into fiscal August. In addition, the company says it has lower levels of clearance inventory this year compared to last July when comps fell 6.5%.

Big Lot's Fishman wins Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Big Lots ceo Steve Fishman has been awarded Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award in the business turnaround category for the South Central Ohio and Kentucky region. The annual award recognizes entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic companies.

Big Lots recently posted its 10th consecutive record quarter of earnings per share performance. Fishman joined Big Lots in 2005 and has worked to reposition the company, which operates more than 1,340 stores.

As a regional winner, Fishman qualifies for the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Winners in numerous national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 14.

Kohl's, Candie's to Rev up Britney Marketing for fall

Following an inaugural campaign featuring pop singer Britney Spears last spring, Candie's owner Iconix announced the singer will be featured in the fall marketing for the line, which is exclusive to Kohl's. Spears will appear in television, print, online and in-store pieces.

Kmart Program to Provide Discounts to Strapped Michigan Residents

Kmart has introduced the Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card to help unemployment Michigan residents. Eligible customers can receive a 20% discount on more than 1,200 regularly priced private label grocery and drugstore staples for up to six months.

Prior to its acquisition by Sears Holdings in 2004, Kmart was headquartered in Troy, Mich., in suburban Detroit.

Verifiably unemployed Michigan residents who register at www.kmart.com/smartassist will receive a nontransferable Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card valid for up to six months depending on the date of issue. Even if customers gain employment before their Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card expires, they may still use the card up until its expiration, regardless of their employment status.

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