JCPenney Reports March Sales

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from J. C. Penney Company, Inc.

    PLANO, Texas, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
 (NYSE:   JCP) today announced that comparable Department store sales, for the
 five weeks ended March 31, 2001 increased 2.7 percent from the same period
 last year.  Total Department store sales for March increased 1.3 percent to
 $1,212 million from $1,196 million in the 2000 period.  The strongest
 categories for the month were home furnishings, women's apparel and women's
 accessories.
     Total drugstore sales for the March period increased 1.6 percent to
 $1,305 million from $1,285 million in the 2000 period.  On a comparable store
 basis, sales increased 8.4 percent, led by a 13.4 percent increase in pharmacy
 sales.  Front-end comparable store sales decreased 0.9 percent, as expected,
 as a result of the elimination of unprofitable promotional events in this
 year's period.
     Catalog sales for March decreased 10.4 percent from the prior year period.
 Catalog sales were adversely impacted by the elimination of under performing
 specialty catalogs, the closing of outlet stores, and generally weak demand
 from the Spring/Summer big book.  E-commerce sales, which are included in
 Catalog sales, were $33 million in March and $55 million year to date compared
 to $20 million and $34 million in last year's respective periods.
     Total Company preliminary sales for the five weeks ended March 31, 2001,
 decreased 0.2 percent to $2,872 million from $2,877 million in last year's
 period.
     Based on current trends, the Company now expects first quarter earnings
 per share to be at, or slightly above, the high-end of analysts' First Call
 range of $0.02 to $0.11 per share.  Improved operating performance for both
 JCPenney Stores and Eckerd is contributing to better results for the quarter.
 
 
                                  Preliminary
                                 Sales Summary
                                ($ in millions)
 
                                Period ended             % Increase/(Decrease)
                             March 31,     April 1,        All      Comparative
                               2001         2000          Units        Units
 
     5 Weeks
     Department stores      $ 1,212       $ 1,196          1.3           2.7
     Eckerd drugstores        1,305         1,285          1.6           8.4
     Catalog                    355           396        (10.4)
     Total Company          $ 2,872       $ 2,877         (0.2)
 
     9 Weeks
     Department stores      $ 2,068       $ 2,088         (1.0)          0.5
     Eckerd drugstores        2,392         2,321          3.1          10.0
     Catalog                    628           704        (10.8)
     Total Company          $ 5,088       $ 5,113         (0.5)
 
     J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is one of America's largest department store,
 drugstore, catalog and e-commerce retailers, employing approximately
 270,000 associates.  The Company operates approximately 1,100 JCPenney
 department stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.  In addition, the
 Company operates approximately 50 Renner department stores in Brazil.  Eckerd
 operates approximately 2,650 drugstores throughout the Southeast, Sunbelt, and
 Northeast regions of the U.S.  JCPenney Catalog, including e-commerce, is the
 nation's largest catalog merchant of general merchandise.  In addition, J. C.
 Penney Company, Inc. is the sponsor of JCPenney Afterschool, a partnership
 committed to providing kids with high-quality afterschool programs to help
 them reach their full potential.
     This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of
 the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking
 statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and
 financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that
 may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from planned
 or expected results.  Those risks and uncertainties include but are not
 limited to, competition, consumer demand, seasonality, economic conditions,
 and government activity.  Investors should take such risks into account when
 making investment decisions.
 
      Conference Call Recording              706-645-9291, Access ID # 468323
      Monthly Plan and Weekly Sales Update   972-431-5500
 
 

SOURCE J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
    PLANO, Texas, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
 (NYSE:   JCP) today announced that comparable Department store sales, for the
 five weeks ended March 31, 2001 increased 2.7 percent from the same period
 last year.  Total Department store sales for March increased 1.3 percent to
 $1,212 million from $1,196 million in the 2000 period.  The strongest
 categories for the month were home furnishings, women's apparel and women's
 accessories.
     Total drugstore sales for the March period increased 1.6 percent to
 $1,305 million from $1,285 million in the 2000 period.  On a comparable store
 basis, sales increased 8.4 percent, led by a 13.4 percent increase in pharmacy
 sales.  Front-end comparable store sales decreased 0.9 percent, as expected,
 as a result of the elimination of unprofitable promotional events in this
 year's period.
     Catalog sales for March decreased 10.4 percent from the prior year period.
 Catalog sales were adversely impacted by the elimination of under performing
 specialty catalogs, the closing of outlet stores, and generally weak demand
 from the Spring/Summer big book.  E-commerce sales, which are included in
 Catalog sales, were $33 million in March and $55 million year to date compared
 to $20 million and $34 million in last year's respective periods.
     Total Company preliminary sales for the five weeks ended March 31, 2001,
 decreased 0.2 percent to $2,872 million from $2,877 million in last year's
 period.
     Based on current trends, the Company now expects first quarter earnings
 per share to be at, or slightly above, the high-end of analysts' First Call
 range of $0.02 to $0.11 per share.  Improved operating performance for both
 JCPenney Stores and Eckerd is contributing to better results for the quarter.
 
 
                                  Preliminary
                                 Sales Summary
                                ($ in millions)
 
                                Period ended             % Increase/(Decrease)
                             March 31,     April 1,        All      Comparative
                               2001         2000          Units        Units
 
     5 Weeks
     Department stores      $ 1,212       $ 1,196          1.3           2.7
     Eckerd drugstores        1,305         1,285          1.6           8.4
     Catalog                    355           396        (10.4)
     Total Company          $ 2,872       $ 2,877         (0.2)
 
     9 Weeks
     Department stores      $ 2,068       $ 2,088         (1.0)          0.5
     Eckerd drugstores        2,392         2,321          3.1          10.0
     Catalog                    628           704        (10.8)
     Total Company          $ 5,088       $ 5,113         (0.5)
 
     J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is one of America's largest department store,
 drugstore, catalog and e-commerce retailers, employing approximately
 270,000 associates.  The Company operates approximately 1,100 JCPenney
 department stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.  In addition, the
 Company operates approximately 50 Renner department stores in Brazil.  Eckerd
 operates approximately 2,650 drugstores throughout the Southeast, Sunbelt, and
 Northeast regions of the U.S.  JCPenney Catalog, including e-commerce, is the
 nation's largest catalog merchant of general merchandise.  In addition, J. C.
 Penney Company, Inc. is the sponsor of JCPenney Afterschool, a partnership
 committed to providing kids with high-quality afterschool programs to help
 them reach their full potential.
     This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of
 the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking
 statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and
 financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that
 may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from planned
 or expected results.  Those risks and uncertainties include but are not
 limited to, competition, consumer demand, seasonality, economic conditions,
 and government activity.  Investors should take such risks into account when
 making investment decisions.
 
      Conference Call Recording              706-645-9291, Access ID # 468323
      Monthly Plan and Weekly Sales Update   972-431-5500
 
 SOURCE  J. C. Penney Company, Inc.