- JCPenney suffered a 5.5% decrease in first quarter sales for 2019.
- Financial experts question how much longer the 114-year-old brand will stay in business.
- JCPenney has already announced 27 store closings this year, and predicts it will shutter more locations in 2020 and beyond.
JCPenney recently celebrated its 117th birthday, but its latest financial news has shoppers wondering how much longer the struggling department store chain will keep its doors open. The J.C. Penney Company, Inc. released its earnings report yesterday and the numbers look pretty bleak to both investors and loyal customers.
The stores posted 5.5% decline in sales for the first three months of 2019, signaling the company might soon go the way of Sears, which filed for bankruptcy last fall. The continued growth of e-commerce has also hit competitors like Kohl's and Macy's hard, but no brand is struggling quite like JCPenney. Despite recently hiring a new CEO and ditching appliances to focus on clothing and home goods, the chain posted the most alarming losses out of the group.
"Penney at this point in time is essentially a broken company," Forbes reported. "Penney is so far behind the likes of Macy’s and Kohl’s (not to mention Amazon) - from tech to the state of its increasingly cluttered and dated stores - it’s hard to see what [the CEO] can try to get things back on track once and for all."
Is JCPenney closing stores in 2019?
Earlier this year, JCPenney announced it would close 27 stores in at least 13 different states in 2019. According to Business Insider, the list includes:
- Pines Mall, 2901 Pines Mall Dr., Pine Bluff, Arkansas
- NewPark Mall, 500 Newpark Mall, Newark, California
- Ponce De Leon Mall, 2121 US Hwy 1 S., St. Augustine, Florida
- Glynn Place Mall, One Mall Blvd., Brunswick, Georgia
- Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Maryland
- The Orchards Mall, 1800 Pipestone Rd., Benton Harbor, Michigan
- 1215 S. Main St., Sikeston, Missouri
- 3402 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Missouri
- 6933 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri
- Hamilton Mall, 4405 E. Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, New Jersey
- Smith Haven Plaza, 9 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, New York
- Cary Towne Center, 1105 Walnut St., Cary, North Carolina
- Riverbirch Center Mall, 1041 Spring Lane, Sanford, North Carolina
- Greenwood Mall, 320 Bypass 72 Northwest, Greenwood, South Carolina
- Midway Mall, 4500 Midway Mall, Elyria, Ohio
- Northgate Mall, 401 NE. Northgate Way, Seattle, Washington
The retailer currently operates about 800 locations across the country - more than Nordstrom, Dillard's, Belk, and Macy's. Most of the planned closings should go into effect by July 5, the company confirmed to Today in March. The axed home and furniture outlets will sell merchandise through the summer until they shutter in the fall.
More closings are almost certainly on the horizon. Analysts originally predicted the chain would cut more than 100 locations this year, and the company's management team has predicted they will continue to slim down in the near future, according to CNBC.
"I think it’s safe to assume that as you roll into 2020 and future years, it’s likely to see some continuation of that effort," said Treasurer Trent Kruse.
While online shopping has spelled trouble for many favorite mall stores, bargain hunters can at least feel happy about this news: TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls, posted a whopping 7% first quarter sales increase and actually opened 75 new stores, according to RetailDive. Maybe it's time to become a Maxxinista?
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