Shares of JCPenney are nearly 4% higher in after-hours trading following the release of favourable November same-store sales numbers, which showed a 10.1% increase from last year.
Despite a 4.8% drop in same-store sales in Q3, the company said in its quarterly earnings release on November 20 that it believed same-store sales trends would improve in Q4. In October, same-store sales were up 0.9%.
Of course, while these double-digit gains in same-store sales in November are undoubtedly a welcome sign for investors, it’s important to remember that sales are rising from a very low base.
Below is the full press release:
PLANO, TX — (Dec. 3, 2013) — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) (the “Company”) today provided a preliminary update on the Company’s performance for the fiscal month ending November 30, 2013. During that period, which includes the important Thanksgiving weekend, the Company’s comparable store sales grew 10.1 per cent over last year. The Company also noted that its e-commerce sales through jcp.com continued to be strong, running well ahead of last year, consistent with last month’s trend.
“We are pleased with our performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly in light of the continued spending pressures on consumers. The combination of our great merchandise and compelling promotions put us in a position to succeed in a highly competitive environment, and our teams executed very well,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chief Executive Officer of JCPenney.
Based on sales trends through the weekend, the Company is encouraged by the early performance of its giftable items, especially among its private brands such as Modern Bride(TM), St. John’s Bay® and a.n.a®, and a range of national brands. The Company also noted that customers took advantage of exciting promotions for gift buying for their loved ones as well as for themselves.
Mr. Ullman continued, “The traffic and conversion we saw both in stores and online this weekend was exciting for everyone across our organisation. We know the environment will remain as competitive as ever, and we are all working to maintain our momentum through the Holiday season.”