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Home still underperforming at JCP

 

Plano, Texas - JCPenney ceo Ron Johnson said the home and fine jewelry departments struggled during the early part of the fourth quarter.

"This is in part due to the lack of catalogues that we deployed last year, but it is also clear we need to more strongly communicate our value strategy in these historically promotional categories," he said during the company's quarterly conference call this morning.

"We are working to strengthen our in-store assigning and make other adjustments to better communicate the value we offer," he added.

Although JCPenney swung to a loss for the quarter, results were in line with the company's projections.

The retailer reported a net loss of $87 million for the quarter ended Jan. 28 compared to net income of $260 million in the year-ago period. Results included $154 million in management transition and restructuring costs related to JCP's new pricing strategy, which launched Feb. 1.

Sales fell 2.9% to $5.4 billion, with comps down 1.8%.

Johnson said early customer reaction to Penney's streamlined pricing policy has been encouraging.

Initial customer surveys reveal "they find the new pricing model easy to understand," he said. "These early readings are significant because it means the customer have seen their value and know that the price is right. They have greater confidence so they can shop in their terms, which is what we want them to do."

 

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