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Family shoes & women's apparel performs well at JCPenney
Jan '08
J. C. Penney Company Inc stated that its December sales continued to be impacted by a challenging consumer environment. In addition, sales across all channels were affected by the calendar shift resulting from last year's 53rd week that moved a week of pre-holiday shopping into this year's November reporting period.

Comparable department store sales decreased 7.5 percent for the five weeks ended Jan. 5, 2008, compared with guidance for a mid-single digit decrease and a 2.6 percent increase in last year's December period. Total department store sales decreased 4.5 percent for the five weeks.

The best performing merchandise categories in December were seasonal gift items across all divisions, housewares in the home division, family shoes and women's apparel, with the weakest being fine jewelry and big-ticket home categories. Geographically, the best performances were in the northwest and southwest regions of the country, with softer results in the northeast and central regions.

Internet sales through www.jcp.com increased 12.2 percent for the nine-week November and December period, but decreased 5.1 percent for the month, compared to a 15.2 percent increase last year. Total Direct sales decreased 12.9 percent compared with guidance for a decrease in the mid-teens and a 1.4 percent decrease last year. The Company continued to see good response to its Christmas book, with the best performing merchandise category being women's apparel.

Sales and Earnings Outlook:

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