10 Mind-Blowing Facts About JCPenney's Epic Decline

JCPenney is a retailer on the brink of collapse. 

“This is not a turn-around situation,” George Bradt, managing director of executive consulting firm PrimeGenesis told us. “This is a ‘turn off the lights’ situation.” 

JCPenney’s decline was accelerated when former CEO Ron Johnson took over in 2012. During his disastrous, 16-month reign, Johnson burned through the company’s cash and drove away many of its loyal customers. 

Even though Johnson was replaced by his predecessor Mike Ullman last week, many analysts feel the company’s disturbing financials make it beyond repair. 

We’ve compiled some facts to show the retailer’s epic decline. 

19,000 employees have lost their jobs since Johnson took over 16 months ago.

Investing in customer service over lower prices is what originally made JCPenney great, consumer expert and bestselling author Grant Cardone told us.

Now JCPenney is woefully understaffed and can't assist customers as well, he said.

JCPenney lost $985 million in 2012.

That compares with a $152 million in 2011, Brian Sozzi, chief equities strategist at Belus Capital, told us.

Johnson's heavy investing toward his turnaround strategy and declining sales led to the loss.

JCPenney announced a staggering 32 per cent sales decline in the fourth quarter.

JCPenney lost customers because of Johnson's strategy, which involved getting rid of the sales and promotions that long-time customers loved. The company reported that staggering decrease in an earnings release.

Once customers are gone, it's difficult to get them back in stores.

If JCPenney keeps running through cash at the rate it has over the past 12 months, it will have no money on the balance sheet by summer.

'If the new CEO can't stop the bleeding JCPenney will be bankrupt by labour Day,' writes Jeff Macke at Yahoo! Finance. 'The question for investors and shoppers alike is who is the new boss and what, if anything, can he do to save the company.'

Comparable store sales have fallen three out of the past five years.

This is especially concerning because the economy at large has begun to recover, Sozzi said.

Online sales fell 34.4% in the fourth quarter, the company said.

E-commerce is a booming industry, with total online sales at retailers up 15% in 2012, according to ComScore. JCPenney's inability to cash in on the trend is disconcerting.

All regions and categories at the company are producing negative sales.

There's no silver lining for JCPenney, and literally none of its markets or categories are doing well, according to financial analyst Sozzi.

The company has been losing cash since 2008.

JCPenney can't even blame all its problems on Ron Johnson.

'This cash issue was before Ron Johnson even took over, so clearly the former management team deserves a slap,' Sozzi said.

The company's share price has tumbled 60% in the past year.

JCPenney's expensive, failed turnaround has left Wall Street with no confidence, said consultant George Bradt.

'In JCPenney's case, the longer they fight to survive, the less value will remain when they finally cease to exist,' Bradt told us.

Sales per square foot at JCPenney are $161, down from $223 in 2008.

That decrease in spite of an economic recovery is concerning, Sozzi said. This shows an inherent flaw in its strategy.

You've seen JCPenney's epic decline...

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