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JCPenney Reports September Sales; Catalog/Internet Sales Increase a Strong 12.9%.

Business Editors

PLANO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 9, 2003

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) reported today that comparable department store sales increased 0.7 percent for the five weeks ended September 27, 2003. Sales of Back-to-School merchandise continued to perform well in September, while overall sales softened during the final week. The best performing merchandise categories were Home, Family Shoes, and Children's.

Catalog/Internet sales increased 12.9 percent. Improving sales trends in both print media and Internet reflect good customer response to merchandise assortments, presentation and pricing. Internet sales continue to experience strong growth, increasing over 60 percent for the month.

Total drugstore sales increased 1.3 percent, while comparable drugstore sales decreased 1.1 percent with pharmacy sales increasing 1.2 percent and front-end sales decreasing 6.2 percent.

For October, the Company currently expects comparable department store sales to be essentially flat, compared with a very strong 13.7 percent gain last year. Catalog/Internet sales are expected to be up low single digits, and comparable Eckerd sales are expected to be down about one percent.

Operating profits are trending above last year's levels for department stores and catalog, while Eckerd's operating profits are trending below previous guidance. As a result, management continues to be comfortable with analysts' earnings estimates for the third quarter and full year.

 Preliminary Sales Summary
 -------------------------
 ($ in millions)

 Period ended % Increase/(Decrease)
 ---------------------- -----------------------

 Sept. 27, Sept. 28, All Comparable
 2003 2002 Stores Stores
 ----------- ---------- ---------- ------------

5 Weeks
-------
Department stores $1,232 $1,242 (0.8) 0.7
Eckerd drugstores 1,389 1,371 1.3 (1.1)
Catalog/Internet 245 217 12.9
 ----------- ----------
Total Company $2,866 $2,830 1.3

9 Weeks
-------
Department stores $2,530 $2,478 2.1 3.6
Eckerd drugstores 2,516 2,459 2.3 (0.7)
Catalog/Internet 427 403 6.0
 ----------- ----------
Total Company $5,473 $5,340 2.5

35 Weeks
--------
Department stores $8,763 $8,907 (1.6) (0.1)
Eckerd drugstores 9,941 9,756 1.9 (0.8)
Catalog/Internet 1,576 1,603 (1.7)
 ----------- ----------
Total Company $20,280 $20,266 0.1

Sales Conference Call Recording 416-695-9677 Access ID #6309
Monthly Sales Plan 972-431-5500


J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc., the wholly-owned operating subsidiary of the Company, is one of America's largest department store, drugstore, catalog, and e-commerce retailers, employing approximately 230,000 associates. As of July 26, 2003, it operated 1,040 JCPenney department stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and 56 Renner department stores in Brazil. Eckerd Corporation operated 2,710 drugstores throughout the Southeast, Sunbelt, and Northeast regions of the U.S. JCPenney Catalog, including e-commerce, is the nation's largest catalog merchant of general merchandise. J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. is a contributor to JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a charitable organization committed to providing children with high quality after school programs to help them reach their full potential.

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, competition, consumer demand, seasonality, economic conditions, and government activity. Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 9, 2003
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