J.C. Penney Comp Store Growth Higher Than Expected

J.C. Penney’s third quarter comparable store sales came in above its own forecast as the department store retailer cited home products as among the top performers in the three month period ended October 28.

Same-store sales were up 1.7%, exceeding the company’s previously announced guidance of 0.6% to 0.8% comparable store growth.

Total sales for the quarter were down 1.8% to $2.18 billion, with company officials pointing to the closure of 139 stores as the key reason for the decline. Net loss was $128 million, or $0.41 per share, compared with a net loss of $67 million, or $0.22 per share in the same quarter the previous year.

Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, said the company was encouraged by the stronger-than-expected growth in comparable store sales. He noted that several product categories including home, Sephora, footwear and handbags, women’s specialty and salon were top performing divisions during the quarter.

“Our growth strategies and new apparel initiatives led to sequential comp sales improvement in nearly all merchandise categories in the third quarter, giving us confidence that our overall strategy and transformation is beginning to take hold,” Ellison said.