Home drives JCPenney performance

Plano, TX — In a conference call discussing the second quarter performance earlier this week, Vanessa Castagna, chairman and ceo of JCPenney stores, catalog and Internet, said that home was a leader in the department store's merchandise groups paced by the expanded housewares department, bed, bath and window areas.

Gross margins in the stores, overall, improved and the quarter ended with lower than planned inventories.

For the catalog/Internet side of the business, home outperformed the balance of the merchandise divisions, Castagna said. Catalog sales, which dropped 21.4 percent for the quarter, are expected to turn up by mid-2003, Castagna said. The catalog division, she added, is looking to new media and specialty catalogs and will add back some clearance media.

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