JCPenney is ditching appliances and most furniture from its stores

JCPenney is trying to reinvent itself again. It's getting rid of appliances and most furniture to return its focus to clothing sales.The company hasn'...

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 4:33 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 4:33 PM

JCPenney is trying to reinvent itself again. It's getting rid of appliances and most furniture to return its focus to clothing sales.

The company hasn't turned a profit since 2010, and it forecast several more years of losses. New CEO Jill Soltau pledged "quick action" to put JCPenney on the path to profitability.

Going back to basics makes sense: Appliances were a pet project of former CEO Marvin Ellison, who had previously run Home Depot and left last year to take the helm at Lowe's. Appliances are a low-margin business that requires high sales volume to make up for thin profits. But appliances were not a good fit for a company that never had an identity as a home equipment company.

JCPenney said it would stop selling major appliances on February 28 "to better meet customer expectations, improve financial performance and drive profitable growth." It will continue to sell furniture online and in Puerto Rico stores -- but not anywhere else.

The company also announced Wednesday it will redesign its stores. It said it will reduce its massive inventory, which has held JCPenney back from offering new fashion trends -- and saddled the company with debt.

"Optimizing the allocation of store space will enable us to prioritize and focus on the company's legacy strengths in apparel and soft home furnishings, which represent higher margin opportunities," the company said in a statement.

Ellison brought JCPenney into the appliances business, because he believed the company could take advantage of Sears' collapse. But customers shrugged: Washers, dryers, dishwashers, and fridges are not major traffic drivers because shoppers only buy them once in a while, and they're expensive to make. Ellison abruptly left the company in May.

JCPenney's stock fell 2% Wednesday. It has recovered this year after falling below $1 for the first time in the company's 90-year existence in December.

The company is $4 billion in debt with a junk credit rating and a sinking cash hoard. Soltau said the company is considering closing some of JCPenney's remaining 860 stores to cut costs.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 496655

Reported Deaths: 33424
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens763167292
Kings747037385
Bronx550864986
Nassau493772208
Suffolk487172019
Westchester402021470
New York357893193
Rockland17760683
Richmond170851094
Orange13475505
Erie12855713
Monroe7174300
Dutchess5450163
Onondaga5337207
Albany3590136
Broome341583
Oneida2686128
Ulster250095
Niagara2050101
Putnam180063
Sullivan175048
Chemung16623
Schenectady154950
Saratoga131917
Rensselaer108842
Steuben97057
Chautauqua88713
Columbia69238
Ontario65035
Oswego6204
Tompkins6060
Tioga58930
Madison55917
Cortland5240
Greene49518
Wayne4715
Cattaraugus4626
Warren45233
Orleans39954
Otsego3935
St. Lawrence3904
Herkimer38910
Chenango3867
Genesee3815
Cayuga3732
Fulton36124
Washington33414
Livingston2988
Allegany2871
Montgomery2624
Clinton2425
Jefferson2030
Essex1970
Wyoming1855
Delaware1697
Seneca1403
Schuyler1190
Lewis1150
Yates1157
Schoharie1090
Franklin800
Hamilton160
Unassigned019
Utica
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Oneonta
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Herkimer
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Thendara
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
VOTE OCTOBER 22-30
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left