The news was traveling fast Friday morning that the J. C. Penney Company, Inc. will shutter 100-140 stores around the country, but the general manager for the local department store is confident San Angelo will not be on that list.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2017, J.C. Penney forecast adjusted earnings in a range of $0.40 to $0.65 per share and expects comparable store sales in a range of down 1 percent to up 1 percent.
"We believe the future winners in retail will be the companies that can create a frictionless interaction between stores and e-commerce", Ellison said, "while leveraging physical locations to minimize the growing operational costs of delivery". Net income climbed to $192 million, or 61 cents per share, from a loss of $131 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net sales for the quarter, which included the key holiday season, declined 0.9 percent to $3.96 billion from $4.00 billion in the year-ago period.
"During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company's growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment", he said. The mall last lost an anchor in 2014, when Scheels Sporting Goods left for its new stand-alone store at Shiloh Crossing.
JCPenney's Triad stores are in Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, Four Seasons Town Center in Greensboro, Alamance Crossing in Burlington and Mayberry Mall in Mount Airy.
The company announced it will initiate a voluntary early retirement plan for 6,000 employees, which exceeds the number of full-time positions affected by the store closures, Ellison said. They would represent between 13 percent and 14 percent of its portfolio.
However, it says that the brick-and-mortar stores couldn't compete with online companies.
J. C. Penney shares rose $0.14 (+2.04%) in premarket trading Friday.
The closure may affect two store locations in mid-Missouri, one at the Columbia Mall and another at the Capital Mall in Jefferson City.
Penney's will close a distribution center in Lakeland, Fla., in June, and is in the process of selling its supply chain facility in Buena Park, California, in an effort to monetize a lucrative real estate asset, Ellison said.