J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is a chain of American mid-range department stores based in Plano, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. The company operates 1,107 department stores in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. JCPenney also operates catalog sales merchant offices nationwide in many small markets.
Most JCPenney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Previously, most stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular in the latter half of the 20th century, JCPenney followed the trend by relocating its stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening some standalone stores, including some next door to competitors. Certain stores are located in power centers and can be considered big-box stores. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998. It has streamlined its catalog and distribution while undergoing renovation improvements at store level.