J.C. Penney Reports Improved Comp Sales for Holidays

The retailer’s e-comm experienced double-digit growth

J.C. Penney is still hemorrhaging, but the force of its downward financial trajectory has gone from an avalanche to, say, a waterfall—at least according to its holiday sales figures, which the company reported on Friday.

The retailer’s comparable store sales for the holidays (the combined nine-week November and December period) resulted in a 0.8 percent decline over the same period last year, which is a 3.1 percent positive two-year stack of comparable store sales for the same time period.

“As we prepare for a new fiscal year, our turnaround in profitability remains on track, and I am pleased that we expect to deliver our fourth consecutive quarter of positive operating profit,” said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, in a statement to investors.

“During the holiday season, we saw strength in appliances, outerwear, boots, toys, Sephora, and fine jewelry,” he added, while noting that the weakest spot for Penney’s is womenswear. And he claimed to be encouraged by “a very strong performance in our e-commerce business, evidenced by double-digit growth,” adding, “This validates the strength of our omnichannel strategy, as efforts to improve site functionality, expand fulfillment capabilities, offer flexible shipping options, and introduce a broad assortment of new product categories were instrumental to this digital sales growth.”

(Photo courtesy of J.C. Penney)

JCK Magazine Editor