J. C. Penney Company comparable department store sales increased 9.1% for the four weeks ended May 29, 2004. Sales reflected strength in both fashion and basic merchandise throughout the month, particularly during Mother's Day events. Catalog/Internet sales were even with last year, with Internet continuing to experience strong growth, increasing over 35 percent for the month. The Company is pleased with the early response to its Chris Madden line of home decor and furnishings launched in early May. This merchandise is currently available in most department stores and on the Internet and will be in catalog print media beginning in late June.

For June, the Company currently expects comparable department store sales to be up low single digits and catalog/Internet sales to be about flat.

The Company is pleased with its results in May, particularly since last May represented the first positive sales increase of 2003. However, it is early in the quarter, and there continue to be concerns over the impact that higher energy prices and other external issues may have on the consumer. Accordingly, the Company is maintaining its earnings guidance in the area of six cents per share for the second quarter compared to a three cent loss in last year's period.

                      Preliminary Sales Summary
($ in millions)

Period ended % Increase
---------------------- -------------------------
May 29, May 24, Comparable
2004 2003 All Stores Stores
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4 Weeks
Department stores $1,042 $956 9.0 9.1
Catalog/Internet 179 179 0.0
----------- ----------
Total $1,221 $1,135 7.6

17 Weeks
Department stores $4,451 $4,080 9.1 9.4
Catalog/Internet 804 766 5.0
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Total $5,255 $4,846 8.4