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Penney’s Scales Back Again

J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s strategic planning initiative includes a further reduction in capital expenditures and fewer store openings or relocations.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. on Wednesday provided an update on its Bridge Plan, a strategic planning initiative that includes a further reduction in capital expenditures in 2009 to $650 million and fewer store openings or relocations.

”We are taking additional steps under our Bridge Plan to effectively balance support of the merchandise and marketing initiatives that differentiate J.C. Penney with the goal of maintaining a strong financial position,” said Myron E. ”Mike” Ullman 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer. “To this end, we will further reduce new store openings and renovations from 2008 levels and continue to focus on rigorously controlling inventory levels and operating expenses.”

The retailer’s plans for 2009 now call for a reduction in capital expenditures to approximately $650 million, versus $1 billion expected for 2008, and $1.2 billion in 2007.

Ullman continued, “We believe the combination of our merchandising, marketing and pricing programs, together with our prudent capital expenditure plans will allow us to minimize the impact of the difficult retail environment and improve both our competitive positioning and market share.”