JC Penney Company, Inc. reported that total company sales increased 13.3%for the four weeks ended Aug. 4, including a 13.6% increase in total department store sales. Comparable department store sales increased 10.8% following a 4.9% increase last year, and compared to guidance for sales to increase low-double digits to mid-teens.
Internet sales through www.jcp.com increased 28.4% for the month, on top of a 21% increase last year. Total Direct sales increased 11.5%, which exceeded management's most recent guidance for a low-single digit sales increase. Direct sales for the month also benefited from the calendar shift related to last year's 53rd week and enhanced clearance/promotional activities.
Third Quarter Sales Guidance
- August: Because sales for the first week in August – which is a significant Back-to-School week – were reported in this year's July period, guidance for the August reporting period is for a mid- to high-single digit decrease in comparable store sales, while Direct sales are expected to increase low-single digits. In last year's August period, comparable department store sales decreased 0.5 percent and Direct sales increased 0.5 percent.
- September: Sales are expected to increase low-single digits for both comparable department stores and Direct.
- October: Comparable department stores are expected to increase mid- to high-single digits in October due a promotional event in the first week of November that will be included in this year's October reporting period. Direct sales are expected to increase low-single digits.