J.C. Penney, Kohl's Keep Hot Streak Running

J.C. Penney and Kohl's keep their hot streak running, Wal-Mart may be whimpering, and Federated Department Stores may be struggling. But both J.C. Penney and Kohl's Thursday announced better-than-expected third-quarter results, and bullish predictions about the quarter ahead.

J.C. Penney saw a 5.2 percent rise in same-store sales for the quarter, and an impressive 27 percent jump in its Internet sales. Operating profits gained 24.1 percent to $504 million. The strongest performers during the back-to-school quarter were children's, men's and family shoes.

The company also said J.C. Penney benefited from the extensive marketing campaign for Macy's stores, which sent more people shopping at the mall.

The company said it expects its 'Red Box Gifts' program, a selection of gift suggestions based on price points, to be a hit. Results also included sales from Sephora, the cosmetics store-within-a-store that the Plano, Tex.-based retailer has just begun opening. So far, Sephora has opened in five locations, bringing higher-end cosmetics products into the middle-of-the-road J.C. Penney.

Also Thursday, Kohl's reported a 45 percent surge in net income, a same-store increase of 8.5 percent. The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer said sales for the quarter increased 16.6 percent to $3.6 billion, and it also bumped up its fourth-quarter earnings estimates.



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