JC Penney 3Q14 Earnings Call Notes

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This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

September was our weakest month of the quarter

“August was our strongest month of the quarter, with a solid start to the back-to-school season. However, like many other retailers, we saw considerable slowdown in September, was our weakest month in the quarter. Our performance in October is better than September, despite the fact that October was our toughest comparison year-over-year.”

Traffic remained negative this quarter

“Store traffic remained negative this quarter, but consistent with our trend it continues to improve sequentially. Our store conversion, average transaction size and average unit retail for the quarter were all up versus last year. Units per transaction were down to last year.”

Unseasonably warm weather this quarter

“As Mike said, following a strong back-to-school season, we experienced a slowdown in our business in September and October. Although regular price and promotional goods were up mid-single digits for the quarter, our sales of far apparel merchandise, particularly given the unseasonably warm weather this quarter, were not enough to offset clearance being down nearly 30% year-over-year.”

Some impact from west coast port issues, but manageable

“As far as the west coast port issues are concerned, we’re seeing some impact from the situation in Los Angeles, but it is manageable.”

Our customers are back

“Our customers are back, but we know we need to increase their trips and their spend at JCPenney’

Pleased with the business so far in November

” I think it is important to say that we’re pleased with the business thus far in November against last year’s comps. So saying that we’re pleased with it, I think it is the right comment. We recognize we have opportunities in December and January that we didn’t totally exploit last year so we see that as upside.”