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JCPenney is closing six more stores

Nashua, New Hampshire, USA - April 14, 2011: JCPenney retail store located in Nashua, New Hampshire. View from the Parking lot. J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is a chain of American department stores based in Plano, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. The company operates 1,107 department stores in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. JCPenney also operates catalog sales merchant offices nationwide in many small markets. Most JCPenney stores are located in suburban shopping malls.

NEW YORK — The tough times continue for JCPenney. The department store chain announced plans Thursday to close six additional stores as sales and profit continue to decline.

The company did not share specifics about its store closings, saying it would give more detailed outlook of its real estate plans when it meets with analysts on April 7. The company has about 850 stores currently, down about 200 stores over the last five years.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 5.6% in JCPenney’s fiscal year, which ended February 1. Sales declined even when excluding the impact of JCPenney’s exit from the appliance and in-store furniture categories.

JCPenney said it expects sales at stores open at least a year to fall another 3.5% to 4.5% in the current fiscal year, although the company said its operating profit should improve. But it said that outlook does not include any possible impact from the spread of the coronavirus or the disruption of its supply chains.

Net income in the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday shopping period, plunged 64% from a year earlier. That resulted in a 5% drop in income for the full year.

Still, JCPenney said it met or exceeded its own financial targets for the year and grew its margin. Shares of JCPenney stock were little changed in pre-market trading.

A record number of stores closed last year. And the department store segment has been hit particularly hard, with competition not only from online merchants like Amazon, but also from lower-cost big-box retailers such as Walmart, Target and Costco. JCPenney rival Macy’s announced plans earlier this month to close 125 stores.

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