Retail behemoth J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) took a clobbering in early deals as like-for-like sales took a dive.
Fourth quarter sales, covering the busy Christmas period, were down 0.7% on a like-for-like basis compared to the corresponding period the year before.
The company is clearly feeling the effects of online competition, and announced plans to close 130 to 140 stores over the next few months. The move follows the decision announced in November by competitor Kohl’s to close 100 stores.
The department stores operator said it would invite staff to volunteer for early retirement, and also announced plans to close a distribution center in Lakeland, Florida.
“We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers,” said Marvin Ellison, the company’s chief executive officer.
Shares slumped almost 10% in the first hour of trading.
Story by ProactiveInvestors