Plano, Texas -- J.C. Penney reported a better-than-expected increase in third-quarter profit Friday, crediting controlled costs and positive response to its newest exclusive brands, which include Liz Claiborne and MNG by Mango, and its Sephora in-store cosmetic boutiques.
The chain posted a profit of $44 million in the period ended Oct. 30, compared with $27 million a year ago. Total sales increased 0.2% to $4.19 billion, up from $4.18 billion in the third quarter last year. Same-store sales rose 1.9%.
“We planned for our new merchandising initiatives to begin to take hold in the second half, and it’s playing out this way. At the same time, our strengths in sourcing, and planning and allocation have allowed us to offer very sharp price points and to flow inventory into our stores in a way that reflects the ongoing trend of customers buying closer to need. Even including the impact of our strategic decision to wind down our catalog business, our improving sales combined with our focus on managing expenses allowed us to maintain strong profitability,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and CEO, J.C. Penney.
Overall, the strongest merchandise results were in shoes and men’s apparel, and geographically, the best performances were in the southeast and southwest regions of the country, Ullman said.