As JCPenney continues to look into its performance, the retailer said on Tuesday (Jan. 8) that it is intending to shutter three locations in the spring. The company did not say the locations of the stores it is seeking to close and is looking to provide more information with the reporting of its fourth-quarter results, CNBC reported.
At the same time, it was reported that adjusted basis same-store sales dropped by 3.5 percent over a nine-week period that concluded on Jan. 5. In addition, sales fell 5.4 percent at locations that have been open 12 months or longer. With the news, the company said it plans to “generate positive free cash flow in fiscal 2018, reduce inventory in excess of $225 million or 8% and expects to end the year with liquidity in excess of $2 billion.”
On Tuesday (Jan. 8), the company’s stock finished out the day at $1.21. Over the prior year, the company’s shares shed over 67 percent of value. The company’s stock fell below $1 in late December, while investors were said to be fretting that the retailer would have poor holiday sales.
In August, JCPenney saw its shares fall more than 27 percent after reporting higher losses and a weaker forecast. The retailer’s shares fell below $2 for the first time on Aug. 16, according to reports at the time, after the company said it expected its losses per share for the year to range between 80 cents and $1. (A previous forecast indicated a loss of 7 cents to a profit of 13 cents.) Analysts, however, had expected a profit of 4 cents for the full year.
Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Davis said on a post-earnings call at the time, “We were no longer necessarily having the broad array of merchandise silhouettes that is most important for her (our core customer). It is critical for us to better manage our inventory levels, and focus on … our core customers.” To unload excess inventory, the retailer had discounted seasonal merchandise well as its trendier fashions.