JCPenney is looking for a solid sales performance from its 1,100 stores and online presence this holiday season, as the company provided fourth-quarter guidance that calls for same-store sales to increase in the range of 3% to 4%.
“As we enter the fourth quarter and all important holiday season, our gift assortment is better than ever, including many exciting styles under our new brands. We expect the environment to remain highly promotional and we have planned a robust calendar of events to ensure customers know that JCPenney should be their first choice shopping destination,” company chairman and CEO Myron Ullman said in a prepared statement released Friday in conjunction with third-quarter profits that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
Third-quarter earnings per share of 19 cents were two cents better than analysts forecast and well above prior-year earnings per share of 11 cents. Same-store sales for the period increased 1.9%, and total sales were essentially flat at roughly 4.2 billion, as the company eliminated its Big Book catalog.
The third-quarter comp increase was the third consecutive quarterly gain and Ullman said it is the result of planned merchandising initiatives.
“In addition to the highly successful launch of the iconic Liz Claiborne brands, which is now exclusive to JCPenney, we have seen clear signs of strength in key businesses and our Sephora inside JCPenney concept continues to surpass our expectations,” Ullman said. “At the same time, our strengths in sourcing and planning and allocation have allowed us to offer very sharp price points and to flow inventory into our stores in a way that reflect the ongoing trend of customer buying closer to need.”