JC Penney expects 2017 store sales to be stable

01 Nov '17
3 min read

JC Penney, one of the largest apparel and home furnishings retailers in the United States, expects its comparable store sales to be stable for the fiscal 2017. The company's adjusted earnings per share are also projected to be between $0.02 and $0.08 while the free cash flow is expected to be somewhere around $200 - $300 million for 2017.

"Based on the encouraging results from a third quarter reset in women's apparel, which expanded our casual and contemporary offering, we made the strategic decision to accelerate a wider transformation of the entire women's department by clearing slow-moving inventory primarily in women's and other apparel categories. Following this comprehensive reset, we saw an improvement in performance, particularly in our women's division, confirming these actions were necessary to drive growth in our women's apparel business," said Marvin R Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer for JC Penney.

Additionally, the company took steps during the third quarter that ended on October 28, 2017, to create an integrated business function that combines the capabilities of its pricing and planning and allocation teams to work under the oversight of the company's newly appointed chief financial officer. Centralising those functions allowed the company to streamline its pricing, promotion and markdown strategies, and consolidate all forecasting and planning capabilities to begin improving its predictive analytics and provide leadership with a more focused view of current sales trends.

"With a sharper and more disciplined focus on inventory management, we are taking a comprehensive approach to assessing the effectiveness of our inventory positions to make swift, informed decisions that promote faster inventory turn and higher productivity levels. Therefore, in the third quarter, we took the necessary steps to accelerate inventory liquidation primarily across all apparel divisions, which increased available funding to invest in new and trending merchandise categories," added Ellison.

"We realise the inventory liquidation favourably impacted sales during the months of September and October; however, we expect to deliver a positive low single-digit sales comp for this period, excluding the benefit of clearance sales.  Although these actions will create a short-term negative impact to cost of goods sold and earnings, long term, we firmly believe it was the right decision for the company as we transition into the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018.  In addition, based on the way our business is growing, including continued comp sales growth penetration in major appliances and omni-channel in the third quarter, we are taking a renewed approach to aligning our expense structure to match the mix of our growth initiatives," added Ellison. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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