JC Penney Sales Down, Blames Subprime Meltdown, Bad Weather

JC Penney isn’t doing so well this fall and has cut its forecast, admitting sluggish same store sales and citing bad weather and the subprime meltdown as the reasons for the downturn.

From the WSJ:

“After the completion of a strong Back-to-School season and a favorable response to our early fall merchandise, we were disappointed to see sales weaken dramatically in September and October,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Myron E. Ullman.

He added, “The combination of weak housing conditions, mortgage and credit market concerns, and rising fuel prices has clearly led to a challenging macroeconomic environment for consumers. Along with unseasonable weather, this has created difficult conditions for most retailers, and our third quarter performance shows that J.C. Penney was not immune to those conditions.”

Sounds like JC Penney might need to make up some ground this holiday season, so there could be some bargains to be had in the clearance racks.

It seems a little early for a store to be publicly admitting defeat, but then again, according to the above photo, they started Christmas in September. Doesn’t JC Penney sell calendars?

J.C Penney Cuts Outlook, Blames Economic Slowdown [WSJ]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Skiffer says:

    Yep, it’s all the subprime market’s fault…

    Because, you know, people were re-financing their homes to buy JC Penney’s crappy clothes…

    Give me a break, enough about the subprime…let’s read some more about chinese lead…

    (JC Penney doesn’t have a finance subsidiary like GM, do they?)

  2. DrGirlfriend says:

    I blame their crap merchandise.

  3. JMH says:

    There’s still such a store as J.C. Penney? Huh, I had no idea.

  4. vanillabean says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Yeah, they need to shop around for a better asian factory to make their crap. When you can buy better stuff at Target it’s going to turn people off.

  5. joeblevins says:

    I just don’t shop there. Kohl’s gets most of my business. I wait for super sales then use the 20% off on top of that by using the Kohl’s card. Pay it off everymonth. They have great clearance stuff.

  6. Quellman says:

    Maybe if there was a break from school sales ending to christmas sales beginning where I can replish my wallet, I might consider pondering about a visit to JCP.

    Nevermind, I’ll go to KOHLS instead.

  7. savvy999 says:

    JC Penney used to a be a one-of-a-kind operation. For you kids out there, back in the day the process used to be:

    1) Get your hands on a Penney’s catalog,
    2) Rip out and send in your order form by snail mail with a check
    3) 2 or 3 weeks later, you’d get a postcard, or maybe a phone call, saying that your item was ready. You’d pick it up at a Catalog Store– a mini-Penney’s that only had a counter and a register. Much like a UPS or FedEx store now.

    Beginning to end, buying anything took about a month.

    Ah, the 60s and 70s. No such thing as Amazon, no next-day-delivery, no credit cards (except for the very well-off). Every summer/early fall mother would put things on lay-away and then we’d make a trip every week to the store to pay off $5 or $10 or whatever. Cash-On-Delivery…

    Cue up the ‘All in the Family’ music…. Thooooose were the days.

  8. ideagirl says:

    Many of JCP’s clothes are made at the same factories as Wal-mart’s clothes, yet they sell for considerably more.


    Crap is crap, no matter whose name is on it.

  9. acasto says:

    Crappy clothes? Umm… last time I checked they sell the same clothes you can get at every other retailer out there. Unless they just take a normally decent pair of jeans and sneak them in the back and crapify them or something. As far as I can tell, the Levis I have on now are just as good as any other pair I have owned. But then again, 75% of the people who post on here would complain about something somewhere even it they never hear of it or where it came from.

  10. ideagirl says:

    I stand corrected – I didn’t realize JCP had switched to selling high-quality clothing. I’ll run over to Wal-mart right now and check it out.

  11. aparsons says:

    Uh… what crappy weather? This has been one of the nicest fall/winter seasons ever…

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Another vote for the crappy merchandise, with a strong second for crappy customer service for online purchases. I can’t bear to repeat the details, but trust me that our furniture saga with Penney went on for nearly 10 months and involved my husband threatening to drive to the regional distribution center himself with a U-Haul.

    We were so soured on JCP, when they gave us a “generous” (LOL) $50 gift credit for another online purchase, I let it expire rather than bring any more of their stuff in our house.

  13. DrGirlfriend says:

    @ElizabethD: So ordering JCP merchandise in 2007 is somewhat similar to waiting for JCP catalogue purchases in 1967.

  14. Mills says:

    @aparsons: They probably mean that it hasn’t been cold enough to move winter clothing-sweaters, coats, etc. etc.

    I work in a independant boutique, and we didn’t pull our summer/spring clothing until a week ago because it was still selling better than winter sweaters until after Halloween-most big box retailers pull all their summer clothes by Sept 1, when it was unseasonably warm (at least here in Ohio)

  15. thewriteguy says:

    Put on your Sunday best, kids — we’re going to Sears!

  16. BigNutty says:

    JC Penny? I haven’t been in one of those stores for 20 years.

    When there is an article posted here about a company I haven’t shopped in for years it makes me wonder if I’m just getting too old or do others feel like me and are amazed that the company still exists.

  17. UpsetPanda says:

    “This place is crushing my soul.” – Elliot, Scrubs

  18. amoeba says:

    I went shopping to JC Penney yesterday (at my local Northen Utah Area), the store was pretty empty I must say, and most of their home-decor and home accessories were a bit expensive. I really like their towels and bedding, so that’s why I shop at JC Penney. @

    href=”#c2991010″>Mills: “They probably mean that it hasn’t been cold enough to move winter clothing-sweaters, coats, etc. etc.” I actually saw a aisle full of winter clothes and I got a Columbia jacket for half the price, it was a good deal!

  19. glass_slipper says:

    I went into my local JC Penney awhile back and saw that they had installed a mini Sephora “boutique” in there – very surprised needless to say. ( this is in LA county by the way ) Dunno if they are trying to make themselves seem more upscale or not – though I question how successful that’s going to be.

    I remember being dragged into a local JC Penney outlet store a lot by my very “thrifty” father as a kid – I still have a box of party/costume wigs from there from the mid-80’s. There was this blonde layered one with gold icicles that I wore to a party awhile back – good times.

  20. D3R3K says:


    Yeah JCP is indeed trying to become upscale. They came down to our campus and the HR guy was talking about how Sephora will boost their sales, how you could have a great career here, and just bullshitting all the way. I haven’t been in a JCP since 2000… and I don’t intend to either.