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JCPenney revitalizes catalog, Internet businesses

Plano, TX — The retail, catalog and Internet segments of JCPenney's department store business are under "intense examination and review of every aspect of the business" in an effort to peel away the unprofitable parts of the catalog and Internet.

As a result, Allen Questrom, chairman and ceo, told shareholders at the annual meeting here last week, "We are determining those areas in the store, and in the catalog, that are integrated — those areas where it's important for the catalog to support the store assortments."

In a meeting with analysts here last month, Questrom pointed to Penney's dominant window coverings business, where there is a definite synergy between catalog and retail.

Questrom noted that the company was "developing the part of the catalog that appeals to only the pure catalog customer. In some cases they're one and the same; in others, they're totally different."

Penney already has dropped some of these more focused catalogs, including a number in home furnishings. However, more catalogs will be forthcoming as the year progresses.

In addition, Questrom said, "remains an attractive shopping venue for an expanding base of customers. We are bullish about this business and feel it will continue to grow in popularity as an alternative to traditional stores and catalog shopping."

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