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JCPenney, in strong 1Q, presses new initiatives


Plano, Texas – Decorative home accessories and housewares were among "solid performing" categories during JCPenney’s first quarter, the company reported during its earnings conference call today. "We had sales gains in both fashion and basic merchandise and our private brands continue to perform very well," said Ken Hicks, president and cmo.

"The Internet continues to be our fastest growing sales channel, increasing over 22% for the quarter," Hicks said. During the call, the 1,021-unit mid-tier department store chain also pointed to its increased emphasis on lifestyle merchandising, as well as the goal of reducing the cycle time by more than 20 weeks in key merchandise categories. New marketing efforts include JCPenney’s exclusive retail sponsorship of the MTV Video Music Awards later this year.

The company posted a 2.5% year-to-year sales increase for the quarter, up to $4.2 billion. Comps rose 1.3% in the store division. First-quarter profits rose 22.1% from $172 million a year ago to $210 million.

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