J.C. Penney Announces it Will Close 8 Stores in 2018
J.C. Penney is anticipating closing eight of its department stores across the U.S. this year, a spokesman told CNBC. The move is part of the company's ongoing plan to right-size its store fleet as more sales move online. J.C. Penney operates roughly 875 department stores today. That's after the retailer shuttered nearly 140 stores throughout 2017.
Total Retail's Take: J.C. Penney is slowly trying to dig itself out of a hole, part of which was its own doing (e.g., poor management), part of which is due to factors outside of its control (e.g., the continued growth and dominance of Amazon.com). Some tough cost-cutting decisions are having to be made, including store and distribution center closings, in order for the department store chain to get back on the path to profitability. It took some baby steps in that direction this past holiday season, reporting a 3.4 percent lift in sales vs. the previous holiday season. Through unique partnerships, improved digital offerings, and a focus on growing its most profitable business segments (e.g., beauty), J.C. Penney is banking on the momentum created in the holiday season carrying through to 2018.