J. C. Penney Company Inc. announced that its comparable store sales for the combined nine-week period ending January 5, 2019, decreased 3.5 percent on a shifted basis. On an unshifted basis, comparable sales decreased 5.4 percent.

The company also reaffirmed its expectations to generate positive free cash flow in fiscal 2018, reduce inventory in excess of $225 million or 8 percent and expects to end the year with liquidity in excess of $2 billion.

Additionally, JC Penney will initiate three preliminary store closings this spring as part of an ongoing evaluation of its store portfolio occurring over the next few months, which includes assessing locations that may not meet required financial targets or represent a market opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset. Further information related to future store closings will be shared on Feb. 28 when the company reports its fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 results.

J. C. Penney has over 860 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.