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JCPenney to Close Six More Stores As It Forges Ahead With Turnaround Plan

Another six JCPenney stores are set to shutter this year as the company continues to carry out its turnaround plan.

The Plano, Texas-based firm confirmed the closures of a half-dozen outposts: Southgate Mall in Missoula, Mont.; Myrtle Beach Mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, Ohio; North Hills Shopping Center in Raleigh, N.C.; Tulsa Promenade in Tulsa, Okla.; and Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. The locations are expected to close on April 24.

“This decision is the result of a careful and ongoing review of our store portfolio,” a JCPenney spokesperson told FN. “It’s never easy to close a store; however, we feel this is a necessary business decision.”

The move comes as the struggling chain seeks to return to profitability following consecutive quarters of earnings losses. (JCPenney hasn’t logged a sales gain since the 2017 holiday season.)

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Less than two weeks ago, JCPenney joined the list of retailers that posted a decline in revenues for the months of November and December. It reported same-store sales for the nine-week period ending Jan. 4 that sank 7.5%. Adjusted comps, which excluded the impact of its exit from major appliance and in-store furniture categories, also decreased 5.3%.

Despite the steep drop, the retailer reaffirmed its outlook for the year. It expects same-store sales to dip 7% to 8% and adjusted comps to lose in the range of a 5% to 6%.

Further, in the third quarter reported Nov. 15, JCPenney noted adjusted same-store sales that were down 6.6%. (Analysts had expected a drop of 7.7%.) Despite the narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss, the firm upgraded its full-year guidance, calling for adjusted profits upwards of $475 million, compared with previous forecasts of $440 million to $475 million.

Since taking the helm in October 2018, CEO Jill Soltau has closed underperforming stores and hired new talent to revive the business. The firm currently operates about 850 stores.

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