Jewelry helps boost Penney’s sales

Retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Plano, Texas, on Thursday reported a 4.7% gain in December sales at its department stores open at least a year, with children’s clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings among the best performers.

J.C. Penney, which operates its namesake department stores and the Eckerd drug store chain, said total department store sales in the five-week period ended Dec. 28 reached $2.77 billion, up from $2.65 billion in the same period last year.

The retailer had said it expected December same-store sales at its department stores to be up 4.5%, above its original forecast for a percentage gain in the low-single digits.