J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) found itself the exception to the rule today when it reported June sales that beat estimates. This was in contrast to lots of other lower-priced retailers that reported tepid sales figures they blamed on inclement June weather.

Penney reported same-store sales up 4.8%, reversing last year's declining fortunes. Unlike some peers, it said that Father's Day went well within its aisles. Interesting, seeing how some retailers complained that the holiday didn't drive enough business this year. While Penney's catalog/Internet sales decreased 3.4%, Internet sales increased 25%. The company cited strong sales in its stores as well as improving margins for the good month.

In addition, the company said it now expects second-quarter earnings to come in at $0.09 to $0.13 per share; previously, expectations were $0.09 per share.

It has been a tough June for discounters. We already knew that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) both suffered a rather soggy month. It has been one of the major themes of the last couple weeks -- a cooler, rainy June that has seemingly melted away prospects for sizzling summer sales.

Meanwhile, Sears, Roebuck (NYSE:S) joined the discounter gang by reporting lower same-store sales for June. It delivered same-store sales down 3.1%, with total sales falling 4.4% to $2.55 billion. Like Wal-Mart and Target, Sears said weather led to lackluster interest in summertime's usual big-ticket items, like air conditioners.

It might come as no surprise that Sears would report lower same-store sales, given its recent history of turnaround efforts that have left shoppers unimpressed. However, analysts had been expecting a better June for the retailer, compounding the disappointment. It may very well be that Sears has a long way to go before it works its way back onto the list of retail options for the shopper at large.

As far as J.C. Penney goes, Foolish colleague Seth Jayson recently examined the retailer's perky quarter, wondering if it was a king among retailers. Since then, though, shares have been steadily marching upward (as they have over the last year), leaving the stock trading at 18 times forward earnings today.

When you think of Penney's real estate in your local mall, it may not seem as sexy a retail name as say, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) or Saks (NYSE:SKS), but when it comes to its strategy, it seems it's working for consumers. Right now, most heartening of all was that it was able to squeeze extra coinage out of June, a feat many other retailers weren't able to manage.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.