Jan 09, 2020 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- J.C. Penney /zigman2/quotes/204684963/composite JCP +1.18% said it wasn't able to buck the trend of declining sales at U.S. department store chains this holiday season. But despite a steep sales decline, it reaffirmed its outlook for the year.
The company said its same-store sales over a nine-week period that ended on Jan. 4 dropped 7.5%.
The retailer said that its adjusted same-store sales -- which exclude the impact of its exit from major appliance and furniture categories -- were down just 5.3%.
On the whole, department stores are expected to have underperformed during the 2019 holiday season.
The category of retailers that includes Penney, Macy's, and Nordstrom, saw overall sales decline 1.8% from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse, which tracked retail spending across all payment methods.
Penney reported a narrower-than-expected loss during its latest fiscal quarter, ahead of the holidays. But sales declines are still steep. Penney hasn't reported a quarterly sales gain since the 2017 holiday season. The company has been calling for sales to be down 7% to 8% in fiscal 2019.
The Plano, Texas-headquartered department store chain knows it has work to do to get back to growth. Analysts say one of the biggest overhangs for the embattled, 117-year-old company remains its real estate. Penney has more than 800 locations - arguably far too many, as more people turn to the internet to shop.
Shares dipped four cents, or 2.9%, to $1.17.