PLANO, Texas (AP) — J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) reported a narrower loss for its second quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.
The beleaguered department store operator also said Thursday that sales rose 6 percent at established locations during the period, the third consecutive quarter of growth.
The results offer some encouraging signs that Penney is recovering from a botched transformation plan by former CEO Ron Johnson that resulted in massive losses and plunging sales. Johnson, the mastermind behind Apple's retail concept, was ousted in April 2013 after 17 months on the job. The board brought back Mike Ullman, who had been at the helm for seven years, to turn around Penney.
Ullman is trying to win back shoppers by restoring sales events and basic merchandise that the company ditched under Johnson's tenure — discontinuing some of the new trendy brands like William Rast and Joe by Joseph Abboud and bringing back store labels. Penney also increased markdowns to get rid of the excess inventory.
While it attempts to revive sales, Penney is also focusing on cutting costs. In January, it announced it was cutting 2,000 jobs and shuttering 33 stores.