J.C. Penney (JCP) has announced that it will close three stores as part of an ongoing evaluation of its store portfolio that will occur over the next few months.

The retailer showed a decline of 3.5 percent over the last nine weeks on comparable store sales. The company said that on an unshifted basis, comparable sales were down 5.4 percent.

In a statement, J.C. Penney renewed its commitment to free up cash flow in fiscal 2018, reduced inventory by $225 million (8 percent), and end the year with liquidity of more than $2 billion.

At the same time, J.C. Penney said it will initiate three store closings this spring. The ongoing evaluation of its portfolio will assess locations that are not meeting financial targets or presenting market opportunities as beneficial real estate assets.

J.C. Penney said it will announce which stores are closing on Feb. 28 at the same time that it will release its fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 results.

J.C. Penney lost its CEO Marvin Ellison to Lowe’s back in July. In October the retailer signed Jill Soltau, a former Joann Stores chief.

As of this morning, J.C. Penney stock was up more than 4.5 percent. 

JCP J.C. Penney will close three stores this spring as it looks to evaluate its portfolio over the next few months. Lisette Barraza (L) hands a shopper her merchadise in a bag displaying the new store logo at a JCPenney store in the North Riverside Park Mall February 1, 2012 in North Riverside, Illinois. J.C. Penney Company Inc., the parent company of JCPenney, today rolled out a major transformation of its JCPenney stores which included a new pricing structure that offers fewer sales, monthly specials, and more predictable pricing. The stores will also add new merchandise brands to their existing lines and display the new store logo. Photo: Getty Images/Scott Olson