J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP), the 118-year-old storied American retailer, has posted deeper and deeper declines in revenue. Now, according to Reuters, it may go bankrupt. Whether it will be able to continue to operate or it faces the liquidation of its assets, it has 846 stores at risk across 49 states and Puerto Rico. Its total store workers and administrative staff is about 90,000 employees. Shown below are its stores by the number in each state.
J.C. Penney recently furloughed almost all of those 90,000 people. At the same time, it shuttered its stores. Stores will stay closed “until further notice.” Given the current retail environment and the need for social distancing, that could be a very long time, perhaps forever.
J.C. Penney’s suffering has been measured by several metrics. Among them is its stock price. Shares traded for $3.15 apiece two years ago. That price fell to $0.30 recently. That leaves it with a market cap of barely over $100 million, although its annual sales last year were over $11 million. Over the past three years, it has lost about $640 million though.
Among the critical metrics used to measure the health of a retailer are same-store sales from one year to another. In the most recent quarter, the number was down 7%. Last year, in the same period, the figure was 6%. Next year, the drop was expected to be between 3.5% and 4.5%, according to management forecasts posted two months ago. That is no longer close to accurate. Same-store sales will be down by double digits this year, and perhaps there will be no same-store sales comparisons at all if revenue drops to zero due to liquidation.
J.C. Penney has tried to save itself by shrinking. It closed 27 stores in 2019 and another six so far this year. The same-store sales show that was not nearly enough.
J.C. Penney is not alone in its problems as other retailers shut down because of COVID-19. GNC, J.Crew, Rite Aid, Neiman Marcus and David’s Bridal are closed. Forever 21 still has stores but is already bankrupt.
Most of the blame for the destruction of brick-and-mortar stores is laid at the feet of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). The revenue at its North American operation was $171 billion last year, up over 20%. It is one of the few large retailers that are growing now. It said it needed 100,000 new workers last month but recently added another 75,000 to that number. As people cannot go to physical stores, Amazon has taken on the role of national retailer. Its sales for 2020 will surge. Investors are so optimistic about its prospects that its shares trade at an all-time high. Its market cap is $1.13 trillion.
Some experts claim Amazon is not the only cause of the troubles at J.C. Penney and other retailers. Most were slow to adopt the internet as a conduit for revenue. Some had merchandise that did not appeal to enough of the public.
Whatever the reason, if J.C. Penney closes, this is its store count by state:
Sponsored: Tips for Investing
A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.