Ever since Apple Inc. alumni Ron Johnson took over as chief executive of J.C. Penney Co. the department store chain has been deep in the throes of a transformation that has so far confused shoppers and depressed sales.
Now its third-quarter results show continued losses that are a worrisome sign for the holiday season.
For the three months ended Oct. 27, the retailer on Friday reported a loss of $123 million, or 56 cents a share, slightly better than the loss of $143 million, or 67 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Sales plunged 27% to $2.93 billion.
Johnson on Friday said the company was still reconciling the two faces of the company -- the "old" retailer before he came aboard and the "new" one undergoing sweeping changes.
"By far the largest part of our stores is the old J.C. Penney, which continues to struggle and experience significant challenges as evidenced by our third quarter results," Johnson said in a statement. "However, the new JCP, centered around the store concept, is gaining traction with customers every day."