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JCPenney Oct. sales hurt by softness in home, jewelry


PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported that comparable-store sales decreased 13% for the four-week period ended Nov. 1. The company’s guidance was for sales to decrease low-double digits. In last year’s October period, comparable-store sales decreased 1%. Total company sales in October decreased 11.8%.

According to the company, October sales were weakest during the first week and improved relative to expectations over the course of the month. Sales in the last week of the month were impacted by the shift of the companys annual Biggest Sale of Them All event to the November reporting period this year from the last week of October in 2007. The shift of this event lowered October comparable store sales results by approximately 500 basis points.

On a relative basis, JCPenneys apparel divisions continued to be its strongest performers with the womens and childrens apparel and womens accessories divisions delivering the best results in October.

This relative strength was offset by continued softness in sales performance in the home and fine jewelry divisions. These categories negatively impacted store sales as well as catalog and Internet performance, for which home merchandise comprises a significantly greater proportion of sales than in stores.

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