JCPenney's strategic plan to remodel some stores, close others

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) is coming off a successful holiday season, riding a wave of good financial reports and was a standout in an otherwise dismal fourth quarter for many department store chains including Macy's. As management looks ahead to 2016, there are plans to remodel stores, add more partner boutiques, pay back debt and close underperforming locations.

In April, JCPenney will start upgrading roughly 350 stores with new fixtures and center layouts. Beauty and handbags will get extra attention in 15 locations as the company expands a test in those departments that has already yielded double-digit same store sales.

There will be more Sephora stores added to JCPenney locations and the goal is to double the number of shops by 2017, according to The Street.

Executives told attendees at the ICR Conference in New York that it would also expand smaller tests including the Michael Strahan menswear collection launched in October. The collaboration with the former NFL player turned TV host has been successful, said JCPenney spokesman Trent Kruse.

A new boutique for plus-size women's apparel is also in the works, and women's footwear is being expanded by up to 30 percent.

Seven underperforming stores will be closed this year, a normal course of business for most retailers. JCPenney shuttered the bulk of its underperforming stores in years past and unlike competitor Macy's, has a mostly stable store base.

For more:
-See this story from The Street
-See this blog post on Forbes

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