In the last couple years, J.C. Penney has seen a slight decrease in sales, from about 12.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 11.7 billion dollars in 2018. J.C. Penney generates the majority of its earnings from apparel sales; especially women’s apparel. In 2007, in an effort to revitalize their sales and attract more customers J.C. Penney began partnering with the cosmetic retailer Sephora by opening mini-Sephora stores within select locations. Despite this strategy, J.C. Penney has consistently suffered net losses in recent years. J.C. Penney operated 864 locations across the United States as of 2018. In the past several years, the department store chain has had to close many low-performing locations in order to focus on improving the rest of their stores.
On a 100-point customer satisfaction scale, J.C. Penney attained a score of 77, which was above the U.S. average for department and discount stores, but below some of its main competitors such as Nordstrom and Kohl’s. A 2017 survey of U.S. consumers who buy clothes in stationary stores found that 43 percent of respondents had bought clothes for themselves from a physical J.C. Penney store in the past twelve months. J.C. Penney is also a popular place to purchase sports articles, holiday gifts, and cosmetics.