J. C. Penney Company, Inc. has provided a preliminary update on its sales performance during the holiday and fiscal fourth quarter periods. For the combined nine-week November and December period, the company reported comparable store sales growth of 3.1% over the same period last year. For the full quarter, comparable store sales, which exclude the 53rd week of fiscal 2012, rose approximately 2%, marking the first time since the second quarter of 2011 that JCPenney has generated a positive quarterly sales result. For the fourth quarter, jcp.com sales grew approximately 26.3% over last year. In addition, the company closed its 2013 fiscal year with total available liquidity in excess of $2 billion.
“While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to JCPenney, the steady improvements in our business show that the company’s turnaround is on track. In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter,” said Mike Ullman, CEO of JCPenney.
For the holiday period, the company reported solid performance in several categories including housewares.
Ullman continued, “JCPenney’s combination of relevant and giftable merchandise, outstanding customer service and compelling promotions enabled our teams to drive sales in a difficult and competitive environment for retailers this holiday season. As we look ahead to 2014, our associates are encouraged by the company’s results and we remain steadfast in our focus to build on these achievements and return to profitable growth.”