STORE SPACES

J.C. Penney to close three stores as part of ongoing review

BY Marianne Wilson

J.C. Penney on Tuesday gave a preliminary update on its holiday results and suggested some store closings are ahead.

The retailer said that its same-store sales for the combined nine-week period ending Jan. 5, 2019, decreased 3.5% on an adjusted basis. Penney also reaffirmed its expectations to generate positive free cash flow in fiscal 2018, and reduce inventory in excess of $225 million or 8%. It expects to end the year with liquidity in excess of $2 billion.

Additionally, Penney said it will initiate three preliminary store closings this spring as part of an ongoing evaluation of its store portfolio that will occur during the next few months. The evaluation includes “assessing locations that may not meet required financial targets or represent a market opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset,” the company stated.

Penney said it will provide more information related to future store closings on Feb. 28, when it reports fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 results.

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