J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Provides Hoilday Update

This week, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) (the “Company”) today provided a preliminary update on the Company’s performance for the fiscal month ending November 30, 2013. During that period, which includes the important Thanksgiving weekend, the Company’s comparable store sales grew 10.1 percent over last year. The Company also noted that its e-commerce sales through jcp.com continued to be strong, running well ahead of last year, consistent with last month’s trend.

“We are pleased with our performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly in light of the continued spending pressures on consumers. The combination of our great merchandise and compelling promotions put us in a position to succeed in a highly competitive environment, and our teams executed very well,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chief Executive Officer of JCPenney.

Based on sales trends through the weekend, the Company is encouraged by the early performance of its giftable items, especially among its private brands such as Modern Bride™, St. John’s Bay®and a.n.a®, and a range of national brands. The Company also noted that customers took advantage of exciting promotions for gift buying for their loved ones as well as for themselves.

Mr. Ullman continued, “The traffic and conversion we saw both in stores and online this weekend was exciting for everyone across our organization. We know the environment will remain as competitive as ever, and we are all working to maintain our momentum through the Holiday season.”

Casio and EMINEM Celebrates 30 Years of G-SHOCK with the G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece

Casio America, Inc. is celebrating the 30th anniversary of their G-SHOCK watch brand by announcing a collaborative limited edition release with Eminem. The collaboration was announced on August 7th 2013 with an unforgettable exclusive performance at G-Shock’s Shock The World event in New York City. The GDX6900MNM-1 timepiece, available December 7, 2013, takes the newly-revamped XL-6900 watch face and personalizes it with Eminem iconology for a watch that is not only ruggedly functional, but also stylish & streetwise.

G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece (GDX6900MNM-1).  (PRNewsFoto/Casio America, Inc.)

G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece (GDX6900MNM-1). (PRNewsFoto/Casio America, Inc.)

Available in matte black with black dial and black reverse LCD, the GDX6900MNM-1 pays homage to Eminem’s rise from one of the Worlds most rugged urban terrains – the streets of downtown Detroit. As tribute, the skyline of Detroit is printed in bold red on the upper watchband. The watch face and band loop sport the reverse “E” from his stylized moniker, while the watchcase back and lower watch band are personalized with an autograph of his alter ego, “Shady”.

This new G-Shock reliably features the rugged functionality that sets the G-SHOCK brand apart, with Shock Resistance, 200M Water Resistance, Auto LED Super Illuminator, 5 Daily alarms with Flash Alert, 48-City World Time, and Multi-Home settings.

The multi-faceted Eminem (also known as Slim Shady and by birth name Marshall Mathers) is a multi-platinum, 13-time Grammy Award winning rapper, record producer, songwriter and Oscar winning actor, who has sold over 80 million albums worldwide. An avid watch collector, Eminem is seen wearing G-SHOCK throughout many of his music videos and performances, making this collaboration a natural expression of mutual respect and appreciation. Being one of the most recognized and accomplished hip-hop artists of our time, this limited edition collaborative watch with Eminem crowns a long history of hip-hop partnerships for G-SHOCK.

With hip-hop it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for,” said Shigenori Itoh, Chairman and CEO of Casio America, Inc.Eminem has an immense and loyal fan base around the world, as does G-SHOCK, making this collaboration one that will connect closely with many thousands of collective fans.”

The limited edition GDX6900MNM-1 Eminem men’s watch will retail for $180, and is avaiolable through selected department stores and fashion boutiques, key jewelers, and the G-SHOCK NYC Soho store.

Ford Mustang Marks 50 Year Anniversary with All-New Sleek Design, Innovative Technologies and World-Class Performance

All-new sophisticated design clearly inspired by 50 years of Mustang heritage evolved to attract wider array of customers and expand global market availability

Mustang now available with three engines offering a broader power of choice – a more powerful 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new fuel-efficient 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine

Mustang sets new performance and dynamics benchmarks for the brand with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort

The All-New Ford Mustang

The All-New Ford Mustang

The next chapter in the life of the iconic American pony car begins today as the all-new Ford Mustang – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – is simultaneously revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents.

April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

All-new Ford Mustang.  (PRNewsFoto/Ford Motor Company)

All-new Ford Mustang. (PRNewsFoto/Ford Motor Company)

Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.

All-new Ford Mustang.  (PRNewsFoto/Ford Motor Company)

All-new Ford Mustang. (PRNewsFoto/Ford Motor Company)

We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.

All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang
The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.

Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:

  • A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
  • The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
  • Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
  • Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille

Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring.

15FordMustang_22_HR (1)

The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.

The Mustang Experience
The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in and hit the road. With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V6 and V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions.

This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.

The Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance and projected segment-leading fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with output projected at more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.

With at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect.

Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.

Most Nimble Pony Ever
When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride. The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.

The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.

The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.

When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink™ lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.

From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”

A Treatment Designed To ‘Calm The Mind’ Debuts At The Spas At Mandarin Oriental Worldwide

THE SPAS AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL will offer a new bespoke signature massage treatment starting January 2014. CALM MIND, a luxurious massage for the back, head, neck and shoulders has been devised to address guests’ desire for simple, efficient and effective spa treatments that can be fitted into a busy day.

Spa Treatment at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco

Spa Treatment at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco

Each 45-minute treatment begins with a private therapist consultation in order to determine each individual’s personal and current state of wellbeing.  Guests then choose an essential oil blend that appeals to them from the Group’s signature range. Only a few drops of oil are used throughout the treatment, but the effects are powerful and long-lasting.

THE CALM MIND THERAPY begins at the base of the spine and continues slowly over the head, neck and shoulders using small manipulations and rocking movements to reduce tension and ease the mind.  The results are soothing and relaxing, leaving the body, mind and spirit grounded and in perfect harmony, ready to face the world.

This is a relatively short, yet effective treatment that can be experienced in-between meetings, during a lunch hour or at the beginning or end of a busy day,” said Andrea Lomas, Head of Group Spa Operations for Mandarin Mandarin_Oriental_Hotel_Group_black_logoOriental Hotel Group. In keeping with the Group’s personalized approach to wellness, the treatment was designed with the busy executive in mind. “Reducing tension and taking time out of a busy schedule to de-stress can definitely make a difference to your wellbeing,” she added.


The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences. The Group has grown from a well-respected Asian hotel company into a global brand and now operates and/or has under development, 45 hotels representing over 11,000 rooms in 26 countries, with 20 hotels in Asia, 11 in The Americas and 14 in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the Group operates or has under development, 13 Residences at Mandarin Oriental connected to its properties.

The Recording Academy® And Atlantic Records To Release The 2014 GRAMMY® Nominees Album


Album Hits Stores and Digital Retailers on Jan. 21, 2014

The Recording Academy®’s GRAMMY Recordings® and Atlantic Records have teamed to release the 2014 GRAMMY® Nominees album, which will be available Jan. 21, 2014, in stores and via digital retailers. The 20th anniversary installment of the best-selling series will feature an array of this year’s GRAMMY-nominated artists and hit songs across multiple genres. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares Foundation® — two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy. In conjunction with “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night ® ,” music fans can log on to www.GRAMMY.com, www.GRAMMY.com/2014GRAMMYAlbum or www.CBS.com to pre-order the album and enter for a chance to win a trip for two to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.*

The Recording Academy Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/The Recording Academy)

The Recording Academy Logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Recording Academy)

We are delighted to partner with Atlantic Records and produce an extraordinary album encompassing a variety of genres and highlighting this year’s amazing talented artists and songs,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “And once again we are excited to give one lucky fan the opportunity to attend Music’s Biggest Night and experience the excitement live from STAPLES Center. We thank those who support and work hard to compile this chart-topping GRAMMY album, which supports the great work our charities do year-round and look forward to another successful compilation.”

Atlantic is thrilled to partner with The Recording Academy on this fantastic series for the first time,” said Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. “The GRAMMY is the most prestigious award in our industry, and this collection will reflect the exceptional talent and diversity of the artists who have earned nominations this year. To be able to gather all this music together in one album to support the wonderful work being done by the GRAMMY charities is a testament to the generous spirit of our colleagues and artists throughout the music business.”

“The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!” Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night airs on the CBS Television Network on Friday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The show will announce nominations in several categories as well as feature performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees.

Celebrate the Holidays with New Yoplait® Yogurt Limited Edition Winter Flavors


BY POPULAR DEMAND, YOPLAIT® YOGURT LIMITED EDITION FLAVORS ARE HERE. Fans voted for the winter seasonal flavors to be featured this holiday and Yoplait listened. Yogurt lovers can now enjoy the cool and minty winter flavors–YOPLAIT LIGHT MOCHA MINT and YOPLAIT ORIGINAL PEPPERMINT BARK-FLAVORED YOGURT–but only for a limited time.

Peppermint Bark Flavored Yogurt

Peppermint Bark Flavored Yogurt

Yoplait’s consumers have enjoyed the spring and fall seasonal flavors and the demand continues to bring limited-time seasonal yogurts with trending flavors they desire,” said Blake Holman, associate marketing manager, Yoplait. “During the holidays, peppermint is a huge hit with consumers and our fans selected peppermint bark and mocha mint as the winter seasonal flavors they wanted Yoplait to make.”

Yoplait’s seasonal flavors cannot only satisfy by providing the immediate pleasure of an indulgent yet nutritious dessert, but consumers can also use the new flavors to make some fun and trendy recipes for the holidays that the entire family will love.

Decorate the table during the holidays with color and cheer. Nothing says holiday more than candy canes. Everyone will love this CANDY CANE DIP. Serve with rolled fudge crème-filled or chocolate sugar wafer cookies. For a special touch, put the dip in a martini glass and coat the edges with crushed candies.



Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Start to Finish: 10 Minutes

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free peppermint bark yogurt
  • 1/4 cup crushed red and white peppermint candies
  • 28 chocolate fudge crème-filled tubular-shaped rolled wafer cookies or chocolate sugar wafer
  • cookies

1. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in yogurt until blended. Stir in candies.

2. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cookie wafers.

14 servings (2 tablespoons dip and 2 cookies each). For a festive presentation, moisten the rim of a large martini or margarita glass with a small amount of the dip, then dip the rim into a shallow dish of crushed peppermint candies.  Serve with your favorite cookies for dipping, such as chocolate wafers, chocolate chip cookies or chocolate graham crackers.



Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Start to Finish: 2 Hours

  • 1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
  •  Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free peppermint bark yogurt
  •  Crushed peppermint candies, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and egg. Cool completely.

2. Reserve half of cooled brownies for another use. Crumble remaining half of brownies. In each of twelve 2-oz shot glasses or mini dessert dishes, layer crumbled brownies and yogurt. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, top with crushed candies.

12 servings

Look for tasting-size dishes or shot glasses in the housewares departments of department stores, or use any small glasses you have on hand. Instead of crushed peppermint candies for a garnish, reserve 2 tablespoons of the crumbled brownies to sprinkle over the yogurt. Continue reading

The Vespa Primavera Legend is Back

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

The new Vespa Primavera made its French début at the Paris Salon de la Moto this past week. Unveiled a month ago at the world press at the Milan 2013 EICMA show, the Vespa Primavera is now being marketed all over Europe and – following a presentation in Hanoi – in Vietnam and Asian countries as well.

The first Vespa Primavera emerged in 1968. This was the year that witnessed a new awareness amongst the younger generation that suddenly wanted to yell for freedom. Nimble, innovative lines, sparkling performance, easy and fun to ride – 45 years ago Vespa Primavera was a breath of fresh air. Small and quick, it was to become one of the longest running and most beloved models in the history of Vespa, equally popular with both men and women.

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Youthful, technologically ground-breaking and agile, with an eye to the protection of the environment, the new Vespa Primavera is the hero of its time, inheriting all the joy of life that go hand in hand with the story of a model that is a cult in the Vespa family tree.

With a radically new design, a new body in steel, new sizes, still agile but even more stable and comfortable, Vespa Primavera is reborn – powered by the ultra modern and ecological 50cc, 125cc 3 valve and 150cc 3 valve engines – appropriating some of the stylistic and technical solutions of Vespa 946, the most prestigious and technologically advanced model ever conceived.


The new Primavera is back at one of the brightest moments in Vespa history, the year that also marked the début of the Vespa 946, which was introduced to the American market with the launch that took place in Manhattan on 25 October after already having been introduced in Europe and Asia.

The record of new products offered is matched by sales records: from January to October 2013 the Vespa brand earmarked the exceptional number of more than 158,000 units sold worldwide, 20,600 vehicles more than the 137,000 sold in the first ten months of 2012.

This is further confirmation of the extraordinary progress the Vespa brand has made in the last ten years: from 2004, when overall sales reached 58,000 units, numbers rose to 100,000 in 2006, and 165,000 Vespas manufactured in 2012, a record which is about to be broken in 2013. In less than ten years, from January 2004 to October of this year, a total of 1,207,827 Vespas have been sold worldwide.

Martin Scorsese Set to Receive Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards, Feb. 8, 2014

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese will receive the prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG) at its 18th Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards, it was announced today by ADG Council Chairman John Shaffner and Awards Producers Raf Lydon and Dave Blass. Set for February 8, 2014, the black-tie ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel will be hosted by Owen Benjamin and will honor more than 40 years of Scorsese’s extraordinary award-winning work.

Martin Scorsese.  (PRNewsFoto/Art Directors Guild)

Martin Scorsese. (PRNewsFoto/Art Directors Guild)

The ADG’s Cinematic Imagery Award is given to those whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience. Previous recipients have been the Production Designers behind the James Bond franchise, the principal team behind the Harry Potter films, Bill Taylor, Syd Dutton, Warren Beatty, Allen Daviau, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Robert S. Wise and Zhang Yimou.

Said Shaffner, “The ADG has wanted Scorsese to accept this deserving honor since the earliest days of its inception. We are beyond delighted that his schedule finally now allows him time to receive it! The ADG has always considered his hands-on pursuit of excellence of production design to equal all of the fine craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of all Martin Scorsese films.”

Martin Scorsese is one of the most prominent and influential filmmakers working today. His latest film, Paramount Pictures The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie and Jonah Hill, will be released on December 25. He directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning films Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and the 2010 box office hit Shutter Island. Scorsese has also directed numerous documentaries including No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia (both films garnering Peabody Awards), A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, Public Speaking starring writer Fran Lebowitz and the documentary for HBO: George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Most recently he directed the Academy Award® nominated and Golden Globe®-winning film Hugo, a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s book. Scorsese currently serves as Executive Producer on HBO’s hit series Boardwalk Empire for which he directed the pilot episode. He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation and the World Cinema Project, both non-profit organizations dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of film.

Nominations for this year’s ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards will be announced on January 9. The ADG will present winners in 10 competitive categories for theatrical films, television productions, commercials and music videos on February 8. As previously announced, Rick Carter will receive the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and Robert Clatworthy, Harper Goff, and J. Michael Riva will be inducted into the ADG’s Hall of Fame.

ADG Awards are open only to productions, when made within the U.S., by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.