By  on May 7, 2013

As expected, sales at J.C. Penney Co. took a double-digit dive in the first quarter of the fiscal year as the chain battles to win back customers and maintain construction on in-store shops for new merchandise.

On Tuesday, Penney’s released preliminary unaudited sales results for its fiscal first quarter ended May 4, indicating total sales of about $2.64 billion, representing a 16.5 percent decrease from $3.15 billion in the same period last year. Comparable-store sales fell about 16.6 percent from the same period last year.

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