JCPenney Internet sales up in first quarter

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JCPenney Co. reported May 16 that its Internet sales increased 6.6% to $376 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared with Q1 2010. The Plano, Texas-based company's first quarter net sales increased 0.4% year-over-year to $3.94 billion, and net income increased 6.7% to $64 million in the quarter.

Web sales were driven by “strong performances coming from men's and children's apparel and women's accessories,” said Myron Ullman, chairman and CEO of JCPenney, during an earnings call. “The Internet business is gaining momentum, and we're confident in our ability to deliver an incremental $1 billion in sales by 2014.”

Michael Dastugue, JCPenney's CFO and EVP, said the company is “feeling confident in our long-term strategies and our execution is better than ever before.”

“This is driven by the continued success of our growth initiatives; comparable store sales increased 3.8%,” he said.

Dastugue also said the company is completing the “wind down” of closing its catalog and outlet operations, which the retailer began in January. During Q1, JCPenney unveiled a new logo and launched an advertising campaign during the Academy Awards.

“This will deliver annualized savings of approximately $25 million to $30 million starting in 2012,” he said.  

Q1 2011 operating income increased 3.9% to $161 million, compared with the previous year. First-quarter operating expenses decreased 2.8% to $1.43 billion year-over-year.

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