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JCPenney improves April comps


PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported a comparable-store sales decrease of 1.7% for the four weeks ended May 3, 2008, compared to guidance for sales to decrease mid- to high-single digits and compared to a 3.4% decrease last year. According to the company, sales benefitted in the month from more favorable weather trends in some regions of the country that boosted seasonal apparel sales, and customer response to promotional and clearance activities.

Total company sales for the month were $1.33 billion compared with $1.32 billion last year. The top performing merchandise divisions during the month were in apparel and family footwear, while fine jewelry and home categories continued to experience weaker sales. Geographically, the best performing regions of the country were the Northeast and Central regions.

Management's guidance for the four-week period ending May 31, is for a mid-single digit decrease in comparable store sales, compared to a 0.9% decrease in last year's May period.

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