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JCP comps show modest growth in Q2

PLANO, Texas — While such higher-end apparel retailers as Nordstrom and Dillard's boasted impressive quarterly earnings and sales, those that cater to the middle class didn't deliver quite as strongly. Case in point, JCPenney, which reported net income of $14 million, or 7 cents per share, for the second quarter ended July 30. Net income for the same period last year was $14 million, or 6 cents per share.

The company reported that same-store sales for the quarter increased 1.5% thanks to increased interest in its exclusive and private brands and the expansion of Sephora. Total sales were down 0.8%, which JCPenney blamed on its exit from the catalog business.

"The challenging economy continues to impact the moderate consumer," said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer. "Nevertheless, we have made significant strides in implementing our merchandising growth initiatives, with sales gains across our apparel and accessories businesses both in stores and on jcp.com. Through our focus on building attractions, improving sales productivity in stores, managing expenses and streamlining operations, we are committed to delivering on the company's long-term earnings targets."

For the third quarter of 2011, JCPenney said it expects same-store sales to increase 2% to 3%.