JCPenney Company, Inc is an American department store chain with 865 locations in 49 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. In addition to selling conventional merchandise, JCPenney stores often house several leased departments such as Sephora, Seattle's Best Coffee, salons, auto centers, optical centers, portrait studios, and jewelry repair.
Most JCPenney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Before 1966, most of its stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular during the later half of the 20th century, JCPenney followed the trend by relocating and developing stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening some freestanding stores, including some next door to competitors. Certain stores are located in power centers. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998. It has streamlined its catalog and distribution while undergoing renovation improvements at store level.
J. C. Penney introduced its own private brands when some suppliers denied access to the expected inventories.
On October 2, 2018, JCPenney announced former Jo-Ann Stores CEO Jill Soltau as their CEO, effective October 15, 2018. With the announcement, JCPenney's shares rose 9%. The company ranked 235 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue.
On December 26, 2018, the stock price of JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) fell below $1 per share. This was the first time shares fell below $1 ever in the 110-year history of the company, which started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1929. The stock fell 68% over the course of 2018, including a 30% drop in December 2018 alone.
On February 6, 2019, JCPenney said it would stop selling major appliances on February 28 "to better meet customer expectations, improve financial performance and drive profitable growth." It will continue to sell furniture online and in Puerto Rico stores—but not anywhere else. "Optimizing the allocation of store space will enable us to prioritize and focus on the company's legacy strengths in apparel and soft home furnishings, which represent higher margin opportunities," the company said in a statement.
On February 28, 2019, JCPenney announced its intent to close 27 stores in 2019, including 18 full-line department stores and nine home-and-furniture stores. The closure announcement was paired with news that the retailer had suffered a 4% decline in same-store sales during the 2018 holiday quarter.
On May 21, 2019, JCPenney announced that Shawn Gensch will be their Chief customer officer to take effect on June 3, 2019. Gensch comes from Sprouts Farmers Market where he was their CCO. Also on May 21, JCPenney announced a net sales decline of 5.6% and a net loss of $154 million for its fiscal first quarter of 2019, which ended on May 5.