This month, JCPenney released the list of 138 stores it will close by the end of Q2, details of a move that company executives first made public in January.  The closings are part of a plan “to optimize retail operations, advance growth and drive profitability.” Although large swaths of store closings are an unpleasant prospect, the move is sound when considering the 138 shuttered stores account for 14% of the company’s current portfolio of 1,103, yet according to the company, generate less than 5% of total sales.


Combined with more of what’s working – Sephora instore expansion, a them-too introduction of Nike store-within-a-store space and an even greater emphasis on its built presence to facilitate online fulfillment – the right-sizing initiative can be a positive.

Sitting on 1,013 stores to start 2017, closures aren’t new to the company, though the scale certainly is. According to CSG’s Department Stores Database the company has steadily reduced its footprint from a peak of 1,104 stores in late 2012, with each successive year bringing net closures.

Leveraging store-locations data from our custom-solutions database to augment the list provided by the company, the map above charts the 138 closings, with an interactive feature providing details that include the mall/location, city and state for each store.

Digging deeper, the Chain Store Guide locations database contains geocoding and addresses for all 1,103 locations. This data affords the ability to precisely map (to an even more refined street-level view) the entire JCPenney fleet. In addition, the database contains 73,000 additional department and apparel stores (along with 650,000+ other retail locations).

If your business is in the business of retail locations, Chain Store Guide may be able to help deliver the results you need.

JCP, Righting the Ship or Sinking?

Updated: 3/19/2019 

This month we are looking back at our most popular articles and reviewing where the companies are now.

March 2019 Update: Nearly two years after our initial report of mass store closures by both Payless ShoeSource and JCPenney, one company is collapsing and the other is throwing in everything it’s got to stay afloat. At the time, Payless had shuttered approx. 11% of its N.A. store portfolio; JCP following suit with 14% of their own. To date, the department store giant is down to only 872 locations with three more closures expected this spring as stated in their January press release. The statement also made mention of comparable store sales down by 3.5% over the holiday season and an announcement was made in February about ending sales of all major appliances. While it will continue furniture sales online, it plans to use these cuts to optimize available square footage for more profitable “apparel & soft home furnishings” retail items in the hopes to increase its revenue potential. Only time will tell, however something is to be said of the 116 year old retailer not having any history of or plans for bankruptcy. One thing can be said for certain, JCPenney is not going down without a fight.

With this additional floor space and newfound vigor for survival, retail manufacturers from all areas should be approaching this company as an opportunity as they will need new merchandise to fill the void. Chain Store Guide’s Department Stores & Shoe Retailers PLUS database contains over 100 key JCPenney buyers and decision makers ready to expand their retail rack & shelf product mix.