J.C. Penney revenue misses estimates as U.S. retail woes grow

, Income

J.C. Penney's disappointing sales signal that shoppers across the income spectrum are pulling back on purchases of apparel and other discretionary goods.

J.C. Penney Co. posted first-quarter revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates, becoming the latest U.S. retailer affected by a consumer malaise that’s weighing on department-store sales.

Revenue fell 1.6 per cent to US$2.81 billion in the quarter ended April 30, the Plano, Texas-based company said in a statement Friday. Analysts’ projected US$2.92 billion, on average. Same-store sales slipped 0.4 per cent. Analysts had estimated a 3.3 per cent gain, according to Consensus Metrix.

J.C. Penney’s disappointing sales signal that shoppers across the income spectrum are pulling back on purchases of apparel and other discretionary goods. Similarly gloomy first-quarter results have come from fellow discount-oriented chain Kohl’s Corp. as well as higher-end rivals such as Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. J.C. Penney’s same-store sales drop was its first in 10 quarters, threatening to erode the optimism the company had generated with a strong performance during the holiday shopping season.

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