Holiday season and retail are synonymous, and with the upcoming festive season, the spotlight is back on the sector. Notably, the retailers have started unveiling plans for the busiest part of the year. In keeping with this trend, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP - Free Report) will hire nearly 40,000 seasonal workers to handle the rush, per media report. The seasonal hiring this year is almost same as that of previous year.
The company stated that it will be organizing a hiring event on Oct 17. Apart from the seasonal hiring, the company has started hiring an additional 2,500 workers in the Houston area to support hurricane Harvey impacted families whose houses were damaged.
Notably, during the holiday season retailers stay on their toes, flooding the market with offers and promotions. They sweep buyers off their feet with early-hour store openings, huge discounts, promotional strategies, and free shipping on online purchases. Since the season accounts for a sizeable chunk of yearly revenues and profits, retailers grab every opportunity to drive footfall.
Per media report, other retailers have also announced hiring plans. Target Corp. (TGT - Free Report) intends to employ 100,000 associates. Meanwhile, The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Free Report) has begun inviting applications for seasonal associate positions at all stores including Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory and Old Navy across the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Macy's, Inc. (M - Free Report) will hire nearly 80,000 seasonal workers to handle the rush, per media report.
Shares of J. C. Penney have struggled in the past year, as decline in comparable sales has been a major concern for the investors. The stock has tanked 58.8%, wider than the industry’s decline of 26.4%. In the second quarter, comps decreased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the prior-year quarter. In the first quarter, comps have declined 3.5%. Comps had also declined in the fourth and third quarter of fiscal 2016, by 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. In fiscal 2017, the company anticipates comps to be in the range of down 1% to up 1%.
Further, J. C. Penney continues to struggle with high-debt levels. At the end of the reported quarter, total long-term debt was $3,836 million, reflecting debt-to-capitalization ratio of 77.5%. Earlier, the company had announced plans to lower net debt to EBITDA ratio to less than three times by fiscal 2017.
J. C. Penney currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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