Like Macy's and Kohl's, the department store's same-store sales fell more than analysts expected. As Fred Katayama reports, the results drove Penney's shares to a record low.
J.C. Penney - the latest big American retailer to report disappointing sales. Same-store sales dropped 3.5 percent in the latest quarter. That was much worse than analysts had expected. And net sales fell for the third straight quarter. Peers Macy's and Kohl's reported weak sales on Thursday. The slump in apparel demand hurt by a warm winter and consumers' preference for online shopping are hurting traditional department stores. What's more, Penney's loss more than doubled to $180 million, partly owing to the costs for closing stores and severance packages. Penney said in February it would close up to 140 underperforming stores. Shares sank to an all-time low at the market open, adding to their 36 percent loss this year. Craig-Hallum senior analyst Alex Fuhrman said, "We believe J.C. Penney's weak top-line growth is likely to continue for the foreseeable future." Separately, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose broadly in April, but consumer spending rose at its weakest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009.