Plano, Texas based online retailer J. C. Penney Company Inc (JCPenney) reported the total department store sales increased 2.3 percent, while comparable store sales increased 1.6 percent for the four weeks ended July 30, 2005.
Comparable store sales were in line with previous guidance for a low-single digit increase, and followed a strong 8.1 percent increase in last year's July period. The best sales results for the period were in women's accessories, men's sportswear and juniors. From a geographical perspective, sales were strongest in the west and southeast regions of the country.
Direct (catalog/Internet) sales increased 4.0 percent versus guidance for a low- to mid-single digit increase, and compared to a 1.1 percent decline in the same period last year. Sales for jcpenney.com increased about 30 percent for the month, on top of a 33 percent increase last July.
Through July 29, 2005, the company had repurchased approximately 20 million shares of common stock for about $1 billion in fiscal 2005, and has now completed about 72 percent of the aggregate $4.15 billion share repurchase program. Management continues to expect that it will complete the current authorization by the end of 2005.