J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) said that its turnaround efforts remain on track given its positive sales performance during the holiday shopping season, which is considered a critical period for retailers.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney’s Sales growth

According to the struggling century-old department store chain operator, its comparable store sales during the holiday period (nine-week November to December) increased 3.1% compared with its sales results in the same period last year.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) said some of its categories generated strong sales during the holiday shopping season including beauty (Sephora), activewear, outerwear, sweaters, dresses, boots, men’s clothing, luggage, and housewares.

For the entire fourth quarter, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) said its comparable store sales grew 2%; it’s the first time the company has delivered positive quarterly sales growth since the second quarter of 2011.

According to the company, the sales of its online store (jcp.com) climbed 26.3% during the quarter compared to its sales results in the year-ago quarter.

Promise delivered

In statement, Mike Ullman, CEO of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) said:

“While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to J.C. Penney, the steady improvements in our business show that the Company’s turnaround is on track. In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter.”

Ullman added that the teams of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) was able to drive sales due to the combination of relevant and giftable merchandise, outstanding customer service, and compelling promotions.

Furthermore, Ullman said, “As we look ahead to 2014, our associates are encouraged by the company’s results and we remain steadfast in our focus to build on these achievements and return to profitable growth.”

J.C. Penney Company, Inc (NYSE:JCP) said it had more than $2 billion available liquidity by the end of fiscal 2013. The company is scheduled to release its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results after the market close on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

The shares of of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) are trading $5.44 per share, down by more than 4% around 11:30 AM in New York.