Penney: Later Opening Cost Black Friday Sales
J.C. Penney is blaming its decision to open later than some competitors on Black Friday as a factor in the chain’s same-store sales decline in November.
According to a statement by the company, its same-store numbers were tracking ahead of the prior year leading up to the holiday weekend. But "its decision to respect Thanksgiving Day for families and open at 4 a.m. on Friday, as it had in prior years, adversely impacted Black Friday sales. Sales remained soft in-store throughout the holiday weekend."
The retailer’s online sales fared better with site traffic up 12 percent for the holiday weekend. Items ordered over the Black Friday weekend are included in the chain’s December numbers as a result of product shipping dates.
Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, told Bloomberg News that a late opening did put them behind competitors that got an earlier start.
"They missed out," Mr. Perkins said.
Earlier openings, according to various reports, were not necessarily an indicator of success for the traditional start of the holiday selling season. Others, including Gap, which opened stores on Thanksgiving, and Target, which opened at midnight on Black Friday, came in below expectations.
- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Reports November Sales Results – J. C. Penney Company, Inc./PRNewswire
- Black Friday Regrets Stall Kohl’s, Gap as Competitors Gain – Bloomberg News/Bloomberg Businessweek
- JC Penney Nov. revenue metric hurt by Black Friday – The Associated Press/MSNBC
- J.C. Penney says late Black Friday start affected sales – Forth Worth Star-Telegram
Discussion Questions: Do you think stores that opened later on the Black Friday weekend were at a competitive disadvantage? Will we see chains such as J.C. Penney opening earlier in coming holidays as a result of this year’s performance?