• Jennifer Marks

JCPenney focuses on driving store traffic

Q2 sale rise, loss widens

Plano, Texas – JCPenney execs outlined strategies to get consumers into stores during its Q2 call this morning.

  • In-store pickup for online orders, which is now driving more than 600,000 visits to stores each week. Penney recently announced all orders will ship for free to stores, and 80% of store inventory is now available for in-store pickup.
  • Continuing to rebrand in-store salons. Salon customers shop the store twice as often each year as non-salon customers, according to chairman and ceo Marvin Ellison.
  • Rolling out more Sephora shops, which will yearend will be available in 75% of stores.
  • Expanding the amount of space devoted to mattress. More than 300 are in the process of rolling out now.

Home was a strong category during the quarter, with major appliances leading the way, the company reported. The home department currently occupies about 20% of the store space and generates 13% to 14% of sales.

During the quarter, the company completed the closure of 138 stores.

In terms of financials, Penney outperformed expectations on the top line and missed on the bottom line.

For the quarter ended July 29, sales rose 1.5% to $3.0 billion, with comp down 1.3%. Net loss was $62 million vs. a net loss in the year-ago quarter of $56 million.

For the fiscal first half, sales slipped 1.1% to $5.7 billion. Net loss widened to $242 million from $124 million in last year’s first half.

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