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JC Penney May Be Among The Last Standing Anchors In Malls


Four years after the retailer faced bankruptcy thanks to a failed reinvention attempt by its now former CEO, JC Penney is one of the last remaining department stores left standing in today’s malls. 

Competing retailers are shuttering stores en masse—earlier this month Macy’s announced it would close 15% of its portfolio, or 100 stores, starting next year—and Sears has closed stores amid its $9B in losses these past few years.

While its rivals are pulling out of malls, JC Penney is bringing fresh merchandise to its more than 1,000 stores and entering exclusive partnerships in hopes of pulling in more shoppers, Bloomberg reports. “When I first joined the company, my first thought was, ‘Man, we’ve got a lot of stores to close,’” CEO Marvin Ellison said. “[But] it was the opposite.”

JC Penney has found some of its more profitable locations to be its small store formats within more rural areas, and Marvin’s goal is to increase mall negotiations and continue to diversify its merchandise offerings in hopes of breaching $1B in EBIDTA this year. Its stock price has jumped 48% this year through Wednesday. [Bloomberg]