By  on January 18, 2006

NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said Tuesday that its Web site reached the $1 billion annual sales mark on Friday.

Since launching in 1994, the retailer said in a statement that sales have grown between 30 and 50 percent each year.

Myron "Mike" E. Ullman 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the company "recognized early on that e-commerce would be an important part of our business and focused on creating an exceptional shopping venue while capitalizing on our comprehensive fulfillment capabilities."

Ullman said that, as the retailer acknowledges this milestone, "we believe the Internet continues to provide a significant growth opportunity and look forward to maximizing's full potential as an integral part of our long-range plan."

Ullman's assessment of online retailing growth is supported by a recent report from comScore Networks Inc., which found nontravel online retail sales soaring 25 percent to $19.6 billion in last year's November-December period compared with the same period in the prior year. Sales include pure Internet retailers as well as multichannel companies such as J.C. Penney.

"The multichannel approach is a powerful model that has driven strong growth for the online business and opened the door to many new ways of reaching and serving our customers," said John Irvin, president of J.C. Penney Direct. "We provide easy and seamless shopping with our combination of stores, printed catalogues and"

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