NEW YORK, United States — Department store operator J.C. Penney Co Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly net sales on Friday, helped by demand for home products and footwear and a strong performance by the Sephora beauty shops in its stores.
Penney's results capped a volatile week for department stores ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season, a period that historically has accounted for about a third of their annual sales and almost 40 percent of earnings.
However, Kohl's Corp, which competes more closely for the same customers as Penney, reported better-than-expected profit and sales.
J.C. Penney's net loss narrowed to $137 million, or 45 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, from $188 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net sales rose 4.8 percent to $2.90 billion.
Analysts on an average had expected revenue of $2.88 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
J.C. Penney reported earlier this week that its same-store sales rose 6.4 percent in the quarter, the biggest jump in more than nine years.
By Sruthi Ramakrishnan; editors: Savio D'Souza, Ted Kerr.