J.C. Penney is feeling merry about its Christmas performance
J.C. Penney is on a mini same-store sales gain roll. The department store retailer built on a 1.7 increase in third-quarter comparable store sales with a 3.4 percent year-over-year gain during the last two months of the year.
The performance left Penney chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison in a merry mood.
“We are very encouraged with our overall comp sales performance during the holiday season, which was led by home, beauty and fine jewelry. Additionally, our apparel categories continue to demonstrate improved comp performance, particularly in women’s and kids,” said Mr. Ellison in a statement.
Penney’s holiday performance was also buoyed by its e-commerce business, which continues to grow at a double-digit clip. Mr. Ellison pointed to gifting categories including “fine jewelry, home decor and luggage, toys, boots and athletic footwear” as key sales contributors.
“Our ability to execute e-commerce fulfillment from 100 percent of our brick and mortar stores helped fuel the growth in e-commerce for the holiday season,” he said. “We remain confident that our strategic initiatives are taking hold and resonating with customers.” In an interview with Fortune, Mr. Ellison said Penney’s online inventory was 70 percent higher this holiday season than in 2016.
As he has done in the past, Mr. Ellison pushed Penney’s intent to target customers being lost by Sears, particularly in major appliances, as key to his company’s continuing turnaround. Sears Holdings, parent company of its namesake banner, announced yesterday that it plans to close an additional 39 Sears and 64 Kmart locations on top of those it had previously made public.
Sears has emphasized online sales, including sales of Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com. In July, the companies announced a deal by which Amazon would own and sell Kenmore appliance inventory and Sears would handle shipping to customers.
In an interview with Fortune, Mr. Ellison said, “We’re going after Sears and we’re going after market share that we think is going to be available not only now but as they continue to contract.”
- JCPenney Provides Holiday Sales Performance Update – J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
- J.C. Penney CEO Warns Sears: We’re Coming for Your Appliance Business – Fortune
- Did Amazon just send Sears a life line with their Kenmore deal? – RetailWire
- Will being more like Home Depot work for J.C. Penney? – RetailWire
- Can toys raise J.C. Penney’s game? – RetailWire
- Has J.C. Penney figured out a fix for its fashion problem – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think J.C. Penney’s holiday sales performance says about the retailer’s prospects going forward? What parts of Penney’s business give you the greatest hope and concerns for its business?