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JC Penney Starts Holiday Shopping Season Strong

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – JC Penney took a different approach to Black Friday than other major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us, which opened Thanksgiving evening. But store doors opened at 6 a.m. Friday morning, the customers were waiting.

“The lines here at JC Penney’s are crazy long,” said Sue Gaffney, a self-proclaimed loyal customer. “We’ve been shopping here for years. I’ve been a JC Penney’s customer forever.”

After a difficult year, the Plano based retailer is a need of a holiday boost. Sales last quarter dropped 27 percent, and so far this year, the company has posted a loss of 433 million dollars.

Despite its troubles, the company resisted the urge to start its Black Friday a day early, and the decision paid off according to CEO Ron Johnson. “We had an unbelievable day online yesterday. It way exceeded our expectations.”

Wall Street responded positively to that news with a small boost to JC Penney stock prices on Black Friday.

However, SMU business professor Mike Davis warns, a good holiday season will not save the company.

“JC Penney’s has bigger problems than what happens between now and Christmas morning, JC Penney’s has to figure out their whole retailing model.”

JC Penney’s CEO says there are plenty of changes coming and he’s trying to position the company for the next 100 years, not just this year.

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