J.C. Penney Store Sales Rise, Catalog Sales Fall

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said it had a “strong increase” in comparable store sales during September while catalog sales declined almost 30 percent.

“The company's sales were initially impacted by the tragic events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Allen Questrom, chairman/CEO of the Plano, TX company. “Despite those events, our department store sales recovered and were significantly above plan for the month. Eckerd [drugstores] achieved its sales plan, and we are particularly pleased with our front-end performance. While catalog and Internet sales were also impacted by the events, sales improved in the last week of September.”

Catalog sales for the five weeks ending Sept. 29 fell below the company plan, plummeting 28.4 percent to $262 million from the $366 million posted during the comparable period that ended Sept. 30, 2000. E-commerce sales are included in the catalog category and totaled $20 million during September compared with $25 million during the same period last year.

Companywide sales during the five weeks ending Sept. 29, however, rose 2.3 percent to $2.837 billion from $2.773 billion recorded during the period that ended Sept. 30, 2000.

Comparable department store sales rose 8.1 percent during the five weeks ending Sept. 29.

Based on trends, management continues to project third-quarter operating earnings of 11 cents to 15 cents per share. Operating earnings for the full year continue to be estimated at 30 to 35 cents per share.

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