Holiday Retail Discounts Deep During Final Weeks

24/7 Wall St.

Walmart-supplied BlackFriday 2012Major retailers have not let up on offering discounts — even a little. The trend could pull in shoppers who did not exhaust their budgets on the Thanksgiving to Black Friday to Cyber Monday sprint. However, the trend may also cause profits at many retailers to push closer and closer to zero.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is the huge retailer that can least afford an unprofitable holiday. The company announced that same-store sales rose 10% last month. However, that needs to be measured against the same month a year ago when sales fell more than 20%. The market briefly pressed J.C. Penney’s stock up on the news. It did not last more than a day. Investors still believe Penney could run out of money. Its core discount program involves the J.C. Penney credit card. People who use it to shop at the company’s store will get an “extra…

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