60.5 F
Fort Worth
Friday, November 27, 2020
Business JC Penney key sales metric rises in October

JC Penney key sales metric rises in October

Other News

Left for dead, twice, RadioShack gets another shot online

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again. It’s the most prized...

JC Penney sees bankruptcy protection exit by Christmas

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney believes it will emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens...

Petalo, not Charmin: Virus brings Mexican toilet paper to US

By JOSEPH PISANI AP Retail Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Toilet paper is back on store shelves. But you may not recognize some of the...

Mall owners close to buying JC Penney out of bankruptcy

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO AP Retail WriterNEW YORK (AP) — Mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners are close to a deal to...
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.


ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writers MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Writers

PLANO, Texas (AP) — J.C. Penney said Thursday that a key sales barometer rose in October for the first time in nearly two years, a sign shoppers are slowly returning to the store brands brought back to its shelves.

But the beleaguered company, based in Plano, Tex., warned that its profit margins would be hurt as it had to discount heavily to get rid of an overhang of merchandise from the first half of the year.

Investors were encouraged by the report, driving Penney’s shares up in morning trading. But some analysts are wary, noting the department store chain still has to discount heavily to grab shoppers.

“What they are doing is giving the store away in both new merchandise and clearance,” said Brian S. Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors.

News from Penney came as a handful of other retailers including Costco Wholesale Corp. and Limited Brands reported monthly sales gains in October that were better than analysts expected. That showed that a partial government shutdown that lasted 16 days had a limited impact on shoppers’ willingness to spend. That’s encouraging heading into the crucial holiday shopping season.

Penney said sales at stores open at least a year edged up 0.9 percent last month — the first increase since December 2011. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health, because it measures growth at ongoing locations by excluding results from stores recently opened or closed

In September, the figure fell 4 percent, and in August, the same measure dropped 9.8 percent.

October online sales climbed 37.6 percent from last year, with home merchandise sales rising more than 50 percent from September 2012. There were also strong sales of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing.

J.C. Penney Co. said it continues to work on remerchandising and reconfiguring its home department in stores and online so that it matches better with how customers shop. The company said that its effort appears to be having an impact already, as the home department saw the biggest percentage sales increase among its units in October.

The store is trying to recover from a failed turnaround attempt spearheaded by former CEO Ron Johnson. Penney’s board ousted Johnson in April after 17 months on the job and rehired former CEO Mike Ullman.

Under Ullman, J.C. Penney has brought back frequent sales events that Johnson ditched. It’s also restored basic merchandise, particularly store brands like St. John’s Bay, that was either phased out or eliminated by Johnson in a bid to attract more affluent, younger shoppers. Under Johnson, the company brought in trendy names like Betsey Johnson and focused on every day prices, eliminating hundreds of sales.

On Thursday, J.C. Penney credited its increased October sales to restoring inventory of private brands like St. John’s Bay and Stafford. The chain said it also had significant sales increases in national brands including Nike, Carter’s, Dockers and Levi’s.

Ullman said that the company is working on restoring the proper mix of private, exclusive and national brand products so that it fits better with shoppers’ wants and needs and results in fewer markdowns.

The CEO said that the rise in October sales was particularly encouraging because the retailer was dealing with the federal government shutdown as well as a tough consumer environment.

Gearing up for the holidays, Ullman said the company is ready to execute its aggressive plans. This includes opening its stores on Thanksgiving night.

“We expect the holiday season to be extremely competitive, and we are ready to win,” he said.

J.C. Penney will report its third-quarter financial results on Nov. 20. Its stock rose more than 6 percent, or 48 cents, to $8.18 per share in morning trading. Shares have lost 61 percent of their value since the beginning of the year and 82 percent since early February 2012 when investor enthusiasm was high over Johnson’s reinvention plan.

At Costco, revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 3 percent in October, beating Wall Street’s expectations for a 2.6 percent gain, according to Thomson Reuters. L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and other retail outlets, reported that revenue at stores opened at least a year was up 8 percent in October, The results soared past a 2.2 percent gain that Wall Street analysts expected.



Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Several local Walmart Supercenters remodeled in time for holidays

Fort Worth and Arlington residents will soon get a first look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenters at 9500 Clifford Street, 8401 Anderson St....

Retail trade group sees solid holiday sales despite pandemic

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO AP Retail Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, expects that holiday sales could...

Grapevine company acquires San Antonio family business

Grapevine-based Able Machinery Movers, a heavy machinery-moving and rigging company, announced Nov. 24 the acquisition of Diamond E Rigging, a family-owned rigging and heavy equipment relocation business...

Arlington firm designing new hotel in Las Colinas

Arlington-based Type Six Design & Development has announced the firm has received zoning approval from the City of Irving for a new six-story Hotel...

New ownership at WineHaus

WineHaus Fort Worth announced a change in ownership and updates to the popular wine bar located at 1628 Park Place Ave. New owners Robyn Davis...