U.S. department store operator J.C. Penney Co. Inc. joined rivals including Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. in reporting a drop in sales in a quarter marked by a slump in apparel demand.
Shares of the company, which also reported a surprise drop in comparable sales, fell 13 percent to $6.78 in early trading Friday.
A shift in spending patterns is proving costly for U.S. department stores, with shoppers preferring to spend more on items such as electronics, homes and cars than on clothes.
Sales at J.C. Penney stores open at least a year fell 0.4 percent in the first quarter ended April 30, compared with the 3.3 percent rise expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.
J.C. Penney’s net loss narrowed to $68 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter, from $150 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
However, net sales fell 1.6 percent to $2.81 billion.
Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 32 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 38 cents per share on revenue of $2.92 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Separately, department store operator Nordstrom reported a drop in first-quarter sales at established stores and slashed profit expectations for the year, adding to the gloom in the department store sector.
Shares of the company, which sells apparel and cosmetics from premium brands such as Armani, Stella McCartney and Valentino, tumbled 14 percent in extended trading on Thursday.
“Our first quarter results were impacted by lower than expected sales,” Co-President Blake Nordstrom said. “In response, we have made further adjustments to our inventory and expense plans.”
Data from Reuters were used to report this story.