J.C. Penney announces more store closures

J.C. Penney said on Tuesday it plans to close three more stores by spring, on the heels of its announcement that its sales fell during the critical holiday shopping season.

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In a news release, the struggling retailer revealed its same-store sales dropped 3.5 percent on an adjusted basis for the nine-week period ended Saturday. It’s unclear where the store locations are, although it’s expected to include more details when it reports its full fourth-quarter results on Feb. 28.

According to the company, it’s part of a broader initiative to assess its brick-and-mortar store portfolio. That includes determining whether some locations don’t meet the required financial target, or if they represent a chance to capitalize on prime real estate.

The move comes several months after J.C. Penney tapped Jill Soltau, the former president of JOANN STORES, as its new CEO. Marvin Ellison, the former head of the company, left the brand in May for the same role at home improvement retailer Lowe’s.

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Over the past two years, J.C. Penney has struggled with lagging sales -- largely a result of the rise in e-commerce behemoth Amazon -- eventually closing 140 stores across the country.

It’s not the only once-dominant retailer struggling in the era of Amazon. In 2018, store closures increased 33 percent to more than 12,000 locations.