JCP Wins the Award for Most Obscure Holiday Sales Results Release

Jan 09, 2014 11:51 AM  By

The Multichannel Merchant office this week consisted of slowly getting back into the work flow after a noteworthy holiday season and thawing off after a frigid polar vortex.

This week we have been scouring wire and press release sites and press sections of the major ecommerce companies to track down how well, or how horrible, merchants did in the 2013 holiday season.

Most merchants talk about the good and the bad candidly, sharing percentages, exact dollar amounts, and the reasons behind the ups and downs. Yes, most of these quotes from CEO’s, founders or press officers are full of “PR lingo” and careful wording; most merchants are open and honest about their results.

But then there is JCPenney.

JCP posted a release on its investor site on Jan. 8 under the headline “J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Comments on Holiday Performance.” Yes it’s vague, but as a reporter, I have come to learn that sexy headlines and subject lines are not in the DNA of finance guys or public relations people.

What did surprise me was the content of the release, which raised more questions than answers. Here is JCP’s full commentary on its 2013 holiday performance:

“JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period, showing continued progress in its turnaround efforts. Customers responded well to the Company’s offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online.

JCPenney also reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013, as previously set out in the Company’s third quarter earnings release dated Nov. 20, 2013.”

Congratulations JCP, you just won the award for Most Obscure Holiday Sales Results Release.