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Business Highlights

Sears, which caters to middle-income shoppers, faced those pressures on top of its own problems, further clouding the path toward profitability.

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JC Penney adopts 'poison pill'

PLANO, Texas (AP) â¿¿ Struggling retailer J.C. Penney is adopting a plan to prevent a takeover attempt just two days after reporting its sixth straight quarter of big losses and steep revenue declines.

It's the second time in recent years that the company has put into place a so-called "poison pill" plan.

The plan announced Thursday can be put into effect if an individual or an entity acquired 10 percent or more of the company's outstanding stock. The corporate defense strategy allows existing shareholders to buy more shares at a very low price if that occurs.

J.C. Penney said there is no current attempt to take over the company.

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Abercrombie & Fitch 2Q results miss expectations

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Abercrombie & Fitch is the latest retailer to catch a case of the teenage blues.

A&F's shares plummeted Thursday after the store chain reported a 33 percent drop in second-quarter profit and warned that business would get even worse in the current quarter, which includes the final stretch of the back-to-school selling period.

The teen retailer's results missed analysts' estimates. Its third-quarter earnings forecast came in well below Wall Street expectations.

Teen retailers have struggled during their most recent quarter. Their customer base can be fickle, with constantly changing tastes in fashion and promotions causing shopper loyalty to wane.

In addition, many teens' clothing purchases are tied closely to how much their parents are willing to spend â¿¿ and lately that's not much. Moreover, teens are also facing scarce opportunities for summer jobs or part-time work during the school year. That leaves them short of the extra pocket money to finance a new pair of jeans or leggings.

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