PLANO, Texas (AP) — J.C. Penney Co.'s revenue at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in November, hurt by its decision to open stores at 4 a.m. on Black Friday instead of doing Thanksgiving evening or midnight openings like some of its rivals did.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a smaller decline of 1.6 percent for same-store revenue.
This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
J.C. Penney said that its November sales were ahead of the prior-year period heading into Black Friday weekend, but that opening at 4 a.m. — like it did in previous years — hurt it and that its sales were weak at its stores throughout the Black Friday weekend.
Overall sales on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, rose 7 percent to $11.4 billion, the largest amount ever spent, according to ShopperTrak, which gathers stores' data.
A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites during the four-day holiday weekend starting on Thursday, the Thanksgiving Day holiday, up from 212 million last year, according to early estimates by the National Retail Federation released on Sunday. Americans spent more, too: The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 over the weekend, up from $365.34 a year ago.
J.C. Penney said Thursday that total monthly revenue declined 5.9 percent to $1.74 billion.
The Plano, Texas retailer's online traffic was up 12 percent for the holiday weekend. J.C. Penney said that sales made on its web site from Black Friday through Cyber Monday will ship in December and be reported with its December sales figures.
J.C. Penney runs more than 1,100 department stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Last month it reported a third-quarter loss on restructuring and management transition charges. Its stock shed 6 cents to $31.98 in morning trading.