JC Penney shares plummet as 3Q sales fall below expectations

JC Penney shares plummet as 3Q sales fall below expectations

JC Penney’s fortunes are stubbornly refusing to turn, despite the department store’s renewed focus on beauty and homewares.

The US retailer reported a 0.8 percent fall in comparable-store sales for the third quarter of the financial year, well below the expected 2.7 percent rise. The drop was attributed to weak traffic and stiff competition from online. Net sales were also down 1.4 percent to US$2.86 billion.

Sephora, Home, Salon and Fine Jewelry were the company’s strongest performing divisions and Penney’s CEO Ellison remained upbeat about the retailer’s future. “We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth during the Holiday Season with our increased appliance penetration, new Sephora locations, free same day pick up for online orders, a strong cadence of promotional events and our new lowest price guarantee.  We are also thrilled about delivering a 200 basis point improvement in our private label credit card penetration in the third quarter, which led to our highest penetration in many years.  These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1 billion in EBITDA for 2016,” he said in a statement.