November 12, 2010, 12:19 PM

J.C. Penney web sales grow modestly in the third quarter

E-commerce revenue grew about 3.1% while total sales increased 0.2%.

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J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has ambitious plans to add more than $1 billion in new annual e-commerce revenue over the next several years, but web sales grew only moderately in the third quarter.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 30, J.C. Penney, No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

Web sales increased about 3.1% year over year to $361.0 million from about $350.0 million.



• Total sales increased 0.2% to $4.18 billion from $4.17 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

• Comparable-store sales increased 1.9%.

• Net income increased 63% to $44.0 million from $27.0 million.

“Internet sales through increased over last year as the company's online growth initiatives begin to take hold,” says J.C. Penney.

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 8.6% of total sales compared with 8.4% in the prior year.

J.C. Penney didn’t break out year-to-date web sales, but for the first nine months did report:

• Total sales increased 0.4% to $12.05 billion from $12.0 billion in the first nine months of 2009.

• Net income increased 131.3% to $118.0 million from $51.0 million in the prior year.

J.C. Penney continues to expand its e-commerce business development in order to attract new, younger and more affluent shoppers. Yesterday, it announced a new growth brands division. The retailer will keep the new division separate from J.C. Penney’s core brand. The new division will leverage the company’s infrastructure, including e-commerce, to create online and store sales opportunities, the retailer says.

The first task for the division is to launch a pair of projects called Clad and that focus on online apparel shoppers.

The new initiative will be headed up by Anne Sutherland Fuchs, J.C. Penney’s new group president, growth brands division and digital initiatives. Prior to Penney, Fuchs, who will report to J.C. Penney CEO Myron Ullman, worked as a retail and information technology consultant and as a former senior vice president and group publisher in charge of Hearst’s women’s magazines.

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