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JC Penney to exit home appliance business

Struggling department store chain JC Penney announced it will exit its home appliances business, and some of its furniture business, while revamping the layout of its stores to focus on clothing sales to boost profits.

The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010 and has forecast several more years of losses, said it would stop selling major appliances in February “to better meet customer expectations, improve financial performance and drive profitable growth.”

JC Penney’s appliances business was a pet project of former CEO Marvin Ellison.

The company will also stop selling furniture in majority of its stores and will now only be available in select stores in Puerto Rico and online.

The announcement is the first major change by new CEO Jill Soltau since she joined the embattled retailer late last year.

According to JC Penney, they are now finalising new layout options, including reduction of store space previously dedicated to appliance and furniture showrooms to maximise efficiencies, reduce inventory and create an enhanced shopping experience that inspires repeat shopping trips.

“Optimising the allocation of store space will enable us to prioritise and focus on the company’s legacy strengths in apparel and soft home furnishings, which represent higher margin opportunities,” the company said.

The company further announced customers can still purchase major appliances in stores and online until February 28 and receive free basic delivery and installation on new model purchases over $299. All protection plans and manufacturer’s warranty agreements will remain in effect for the applicable warranty period.

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