In a note issued to investors last week, Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger also said she expects Penney will trim its store base over the next few years. She anticipates the retailer will shutter about 10 to 20 stores annually, depending on opportunities to exit leases. It's unlikely it will do so any faster after taking a $44 million charge for closing 33 underperforming stores this year, she said.
"We think massive store closures [200+] and immediate cost cuts are unlikely given the associated cost," she wrote.
Read MorePenney's to again add 35,000 seasonal workers
Once closed, the stores could generate about $3 million in savings per store, she said.
J.C. Penney declined to comment on whether it is planning to announce new store closures this week.
Penney's wouldn't be alone in rightsizing their store fleets in the era of online shopping. Companies from Staples to Aéropostale have said they are also looking to trim their store counts to cut costs at a time when industry-wide, online sales are growing exponentially faster than bricks-and-mortar sales.
Last month, Penney's said it will hire 35,000 workers for the holiday season, in line with the number for 2013.