J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney ( JCP) is blaming its bigger-than-expected same-store sales decline on its decision not to take part in the Black Friday midnight madness.

Instead, the department store opened its doors for holiday shoppers at 4 a.m., as it had in prior years, which the company said "adversely impacted Black Friday."

But J.C. Penney didn't just miss out on early holiday sales, as the company noted that "sales remained soft in-store throughout the holiday weekend." Management also said that the company had been trending better than last year until last weekend.

For the month, comparable sales fell 2% compared with the 1.6% decrease analysts predicted. Online sales tanked 6.9% for the month, but did not include sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Those numbers will be included in December results.

J.C. Penney is betting on its new CEO Ron Johnson, the man credited with the success of Apple's ( AAPL) retail stores. Since taking the post on Nov. 1, Johnson has started to revamp the management team, hiring two former Apple colleagues to fill the chief talent officer and chief operating officer roles.

The department store is attempting to revitalize its stale image, including brands like MNG by Mango and Sephora, and by purchasing the Liz Claiborne brand.

But it appears it is too late for Johnson to make any monumental changes for the holiday season.

The stock rose 0.6% to $32.63 in Thursday.

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