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JCPenney Reports December Sales

PLANO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 8, 2009--J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) comparable store sales decreased 8.1 percent for the five-week period ended Jan. 3, 2009, better than the Company's guidance for a low-double digit decrease. During the same period last year, comparable store sales decreased 7.3 percent. Total Company sales in December decreased 6.8 percent.

The December period was extraordinarily promotional across the retail industry. Over the course of the month, the Company took aggressive promotional pricing action across all channels, which resulted in improved sales during the week leading up to Christmas and for the remainder of the month. This served to partially offset weaker performance earlier in the period. Comparable store sales results for December also benefited from an increase in sales through jcp.com, the Company's Internet channel.

For the December period, women's apparel and accessories and family shoes were the top performing merchandise divisions, while fine jewelry continued to experience softer sales performance. Geographically, the best performing areas of the country were the southwest and central regions, while the northwest region had the weakest results.


Preliminary December Sales Summary

($ in millions)

          Total Company Sales   % Increase/(Decrease)

          for period ended      Total Sales     Comp Stores

          Jan. 3,   Jan. 5,

          2009     2008        2008     2007    2008    2007

5 Weeks   $ 2,961   $   3,177   (6.8 )  (5.6 )  (8.1 )  (7.3 )

9 Weeks   $ 4,776   $   5,227   (8.6 )  (0.8 )  (9.6 )  (2.8 )

48 Weeks  $ 17,503  $   18,697  (6.4 )  1.0     (8.0 )  0.0



January Sales Guidance

Management's guidance for the four-week period ending Jan. 31, 2009, is for a low-double digit decrease in comparable store sales. In last year's January period, comparable store sales were flat.

Sales Conference Call Recording (8:30 a.m. ET) -- (877) 793-7778

About JCPenney

JCPenney is one of America's leading retailers, operating 1,093 department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com, and the nation's largest general merchandise catalog business. Through these integrated channels, JCPenney offers a wide array of national, private and exclusive brands which reflect the Company's commitment to providing customers with style and quality at a smart price. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the Company posted revenue of $19.9 billion in 2007 and is executing its strategic plan to be the growth leader in the retail industry. Key to this strategy is JCPenney's "Every Day Matters" brand positioning, intended to generate deeper, more emotionally driven relationships with customers by fully engaging the Company's 155,000 Associates to offer encouragement, provide ideas and inspire customers every time they shop with JCPenney.

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, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, the cost of goods, trade restrictions, changes in tariff, freight, paper and postal rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, and a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information. Please refer to the Company's most recent Form 10-K and subsequent filings for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.

CONTACT: J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
Investor Relations:
Phil Sanchez, 972-431-5575
psanc3@jcpenney.com
or
Kristin Hays, 972-431-1261
klhays@jcpenney.com
or
Media Relations:
Darcie Brossart, 972-431-3400
jcpcorpcomm@jcpenney.com
or
Corporate Website:
www.jcpenney.net

Source: J. C. Penney Company, Inc.