Critics, in an online petition drive, complained to the Plano-based retailer that the white, long-sleeve shirt is offensive and portrays a negative stereotype of girls.
Penney on Wednesday apologized and said the T-shirt did not deliver an appropriate message.
The company, which Thursday reported revenue at stores open at least a year dipped 1.9 percent in August, said its merchandise is meant to appeal to a broad customer base and "not to offend them."
The T-shirt was offered for sale online, meant for girls ages 7 to 16. The phrase on the front, in colorful letters, was accompanied by hearts.