Report: More Store Closures Possible At J.C. Penney

As J.C. Penney prepares for the all-important holiday season, the troubled retailer could be on the verge of closing dozens of stores.

Citing information from retail industry analysts, CNBC on Monday reported that Penney this week could announce a plan to close stores in an effort to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

According to CNBC, a research note from Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi said the department store chain might announce “mass store closures” that could bring its total store count to less than 1,000.

“J.C. Penney’s five-year plan includes bringing the store count to below 1,000 in order to maximize efficiencies and position it properly in a world of online and same-day delivery consumption,” Sozzi said in a note. “Store closures will likely be concentrated in not renewing leases and exiting those locations with low rent payments early.”

Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger was quoted in the CNBC report as anticipating that J.C. Penney could close between 10 and 20 stores annually over the next several years. She added that massive store closure were “unlikely” given the costs associated with shutting locations.

J.C. Penney is scheduled to host an analyst day on Wednesday, when an announcement could be made. The retailer declined to comment on the report.