August 23, 2013, 1:16 PM

Web sales start to stabilize for J.C. Penney in Q2

Web sales were down 2.3% in Q2, following a 32.5% drop a year ago.

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J.C. Penney Co. Inc., amid a reorganization following several quarters of plunging sales, made strides in stabilizing its online sales during the second quarter. The retail chain this week reported that JCP.com generated $215 million in sales during the quarter, down just 2.3% from a year ago, when web sales tallied $220 million. During the second quarter of 2011, before the department store chain changed its retail strategy to focus on bricks-and-mortar stores, JCP.com generated $326 million in sales.

“The initial results for JCP.com have been very positive though not yet where we want them to be,” CEO Myron E. Ullman said during an earnings call. “We saw sequential improvement in every division online. For the month of July alone, dot-com sales were up over 14%.”

J.C. Penney rehired Ullman as CEO this spring after the previous CEO, Ron Johnson, stepped down. Ullman had been the retailer’s CEO for seven years before Johnson. He has reversed a number of the decisions made by his predecessor and reinstated many of the strategies in place prior to Johnson’s tenure.

That includes refocusing on web retailing. Ullman, in the earnings call, said the retailer is working to make sure the products offered in stores are also available online. He said having disconnected assortments helped lead to a drop in web sales last year because it made it difficult for store clerks to go online and find additional merchandise for store customers. “By reconnecting and realigning the merchandise assortments, the business popped almost immediately,” he said.

For the three months ending Aug. 3, J.C. Penney, No. 34 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, reported:

• Web sales of $215 million, a decrease of 2.3% from web sales of $220 million in Q2 2012.

• Total sales declined 11.9% to $2.66 billion from $3.02 billion a year ago.

• Comparable-store sales declined 11.9%. A year ago the decline was 21.7%.

• A net loss of $586 million. A year ago the net loss was $147 million.

For the six months ended Aug. 3, J.C. Penney reported:

• Total sales of $5.30 billion, down 14.1% from $6.17 billion for the first six months of 2012.

• Comparable-store sales declined 14.3%. A year ago the decline was 20.3%.

• A net loss of $934 million. The retailer had a net loss of $310 million during the first six months of 2012.

J.C. Penney did not report JCP.com sales for the first quarter of 2013, or a six-month total for web sales. 

 

 

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