Penney reported same-store second-quarter sales rose 6%, and projected similar gains for the current quarter.
Overall, Penney said revenue rose 5.2% to
Shares surged nearly 10% to
"Our turnaround initiatives continue to produce improved financial results. We gained additional market share while significantly increasing gross margin in a highly competitive promotional environment," says CEO
"They're still going up against double-digit declines from last year," Grom said. "Where the rubber hits the road is the fourth quarter."
Also Thursday, rival Kohl's beat
Overall, however, retailers are still hampered by apathetic consumers -- underscored by a
Some market observers say most retailers will continue to lag.
"The consumer has plateaued," says
"We should not expect considerable growth among retailers except for the standouts. We really need to see personal earnings and wage growth and a sense of comfort in the economy in order to make the next leg in consumer-driven spending."
"They are no longer on life support," Tawil says. "On the other hand, this is not about one quarter, but the next five to 10 years. You need to have a long-term strategy."
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