J.C. Penney on Thursday reported its first monthly same-store sales gain in nearly two years on the back of deep discounts and the decision to resume stocking merchandise that the retailer's long-time shoppers liked.
Shares were up 4.9 percent to $8.08 in pre-market trading after the company said comparable sales rose 0.9 percent in October. (Click here to see the latest quote.)
Penney, which has been offering steep bargains to win back shoppers after a failed attempt to go upmarket in 2012 led to a 25 percent sales drop, last reported a monthly same-store sales gain in December 2011.
(Read more: JC Penney leaning toward $1 billion equity raise)
Chief Executive Myron Ullman attributed the improvement in part to the return of popular in-house brands including St. John's Bay, which were jettisoned by his predecessor Ron Johnson during Penney's ill-fated transformation last year.