J.C. Penney Co Inc reports Smaller-than-expected Loss in Q1

The chain of mid-range department stores, J.C. Penney Co Inc, has reported smaller-than-expected loss in the first quarter of the year. According to the company, the smaller-than-expected quarterly loss was due to increasing demand of apparel and handbags for women. The company has also lifted its annual margin target as according to the company, it has observed signs of getting a better grip on costs.

The Department store company based in Plano, Texas, also revealed that it has planned to sell Sephora beauty products online this month. According to the company, the decision has been taken as it has partnership with the product maker. Currently, J.C. Penney has over 500 outlets of Sephora within its store. The company has also stated that it has planned to open more Sephora outlets.

Marvin Ellison, who will become chief executive of the company in August this year, talked about some of the initiatives that included to expand the women's shoe section in the company’s stores and investments in technology so that company can see growth.

During an earnings call, Ellison, the former Home Depot executive, said, “I've had the opportunity to go through a transformation like this in a past life and I would say we are a fourth of the way through. We hope to see benefits in the fall but more benefits starting in 2016”.

In the first quarter of 2015 which ended on May 2, the company reported a loss of about $167 million, or 55 cents per share. Last year, in the same quarter, the net loss was of $352 million, or $1.15 per share. If items are excluded, the loss was about 57 cents per share. According to reports, analysts were expecting a loss of about 76 cents per share.