Same-store sales at J.C. Penney Company Inc. from November through January increased by 2%, the first increase in two years, but quite shy of the expected 4.2%.
The not-good-enough report led to a stock dive of more than 10% Tuesday, landing at its lowest level since 1962.
The Plano, Texas-based retailer has undergone turbulent back-and-forth changes in both leadership and structure, and the company had pinned its hopes on a healthy holiday season that didn’t pan out.
With its cash-on-hand situation less than ideal and a big mess still to clean up, J.C. Penney still has a long road to travel to get its strength back. Considering that today’s current mess is the result of, essentially, an abandoned turnaround strategy, it's hard to know what the company has in mind. Is it going back to where it was when it wanted to change, or is it working on new changes? Until we know, it’s difficult to see how J.C. Penney can impress its investors or even its customers sufficiently to move on. At the very least, time is running out.