$JCP News: J.C. Penney Expands Sephora Beauty Shops As It Plays Down Apparel

J.C. Penney is adding 70 Sephora beauty shops, what it sees as a key competitive edge over rivals.

$JCP News: J.C. Penney postponing store closures

Thanks to higher sales at stores marked for closure, J.C. Penney has postponed plans to shutter 138 shops. As a result, J.C. Penney will start liquidating those stores on May 22 instead of April 17, as first planned. J.C. Penney first announced in February plans to shut down 13 to 14 percent of its 1,014-store fleet , and two distribution centers in Lakeland, Florida, and Buena Park, California.

$JCP News: J.C. Penney Won’t Be Closing Stores Just Yet

The decision to slim down its bricks-and-mortar portfolio is part of a previously-announced plan from February to jump start growth at the company and pivot focus to boosting sales and traffic on JCPenney’s e-commerce platforms. While the company saw …

$JCP News: Investors Are Betting Big Against JCPenney — Are They Right?

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) is often considered the poster boy of retail failure. The 114-year-old company thrived for decades in urban centers, then generated robust sales in suburban malls as middle class shoppers moved out of big cities. But then several …

via @theloop: In praise of the versatile Mac mini


The Mac Pro got plenty of love from Apple this week—and about time—but the other supporting player in Apple’s desktop lineup got only a brief nod from the company’s executives.

“The Mac mini remains a product in our lineup. Nothing more to say about it today,” Phil Schiller told reporters, according to John Gruber.

The Mac mini has never been a hot topic with the folks in Cupertino. Now in its twelfth year, the little Mac that could has been infrequently updated and often underestimated. But while it may not get the limelight as often as its siblings, I think that the mini has earned its spot as the unsung hero of the Mac lineup.

The Mac of all trades

Before Steve Jobs’s return, Apple sold plenty of headless desktop Macs, so many that its naming scheme reached convoluted levels of confusion. But when the Mac mini debuted in 2005, Apple was still mostly sticking to a two-by-two product grid: pro and consumer versions of desktops and portables.

Even though the mini was more expensive than low-margin PCs from Dell and HP, it helped Apple acquire PC switchers who could bring their own display, keyboard, and mouse. And what could have just been a cut-rate, cheap Mac ended up becoming beloved.

It’s certainly the most versatile. The mini is equally at home on a desktop, beneath a TV, and in a server room. People have even modded them to fit in car dashboards and classic radios.

None of that was Apple’s intention. It wasn’t until the Mac mini unibody redesign in mid–2010 that Apple embraced the mini’s role as a home theater PC by making it the first Mac to boast an HDMI port. In recent years, the mini’s space in the living room has been preempted by set-top boxes like the Roku and Apple TV. But the Mac mini is still going strong in other arenas: Macminicolo has a data center full of Mac minis. Given the comments made by Apple this week, I don’t think its best days are behind it quite yet.

Looking ahead

If we take Schiller’s comment as the Mac mini sticking around, what might a new model look like? The most recent update was in late 2014, when it received some slight bumps to memory and processor speed.

In terms of the mini’s future, we might look toward the same set-top box that has displaced it in many living rooms. PC vendors have been experimenting with making extremely small computers in the form factor of a large thumb drive. I don’t think we’ll see a Mac mini quite that small, but perhaps between the size of the current mini and the Apple TV.

A new model would need Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports, plus upgraded processors, graphics, and memory. It also needs solid-state memory across the board. I installed a homebrewed Fusion Drive in a mini last year, and it makes quite a difference in performance.

The Mac mini’s quiet operation, built-in power brick, and relatively low price tag have made it an attractive proposition that fills roles that the iMac and Mac Pro can’t. The Mac mini may never match the sales of the iMac, much less Apple’s portable Macs, but in the same way that Apple has realized that the Mac Pro needs to live up to customers’ idea of what “professional” means, I hope that the company realizes that the reason users have come to love the mini is its versatility.

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via @cultofmac: Apple also planning pro upgrades for MacBook Pro, iPad Pro


The Mac Pro isn’t the only device Apple is rethinking for professional users. According to a new report, the company is also considering significant changes to the MacBook Pro and iPad Pro, one of which could see the fancy new Touch Bar biting the dust. Apple has clearly woken up and realized it isn’t serving […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)